CyberAlert -- 03/03/1999 -- NBC Suppressing Broaddrick While Plugging Lewinsky on ABC
NBC Suppressing Broaddrick While Plugging Lewinsky on ABC
3) Still nothing on ABC or CBS. CNN caught up with the controversy over reaction from feminists as Today's Matt Lauer quizzed NOW's Patricia Ireland over her hypocrisy: "You said that Bob Packwood should resign. Why not call for the President to resign?"
NBC Nightly News has yet to utter a word about Juanita Broaddrick. No story on Broaddrick despite the exclusive Dateline NBC interview captured by Lisa Myers, a Nightly News regular. But Tuesday night NBC ran not one, but TWO stories promoting ABC's exclusive interview with Monica Lewinsky set to air Wednesday night on 20/20. That's right. NBC Nightly News didn't air a story beforehand plugging the February 24 Dateline story nor afterward about what Broaddrick said on its own network, but Tuesday night the show hyped the exclusive interview with a scandal figure set to run on a competing network.
The March 2 NBC Nightly News still managed to add a liberal tilt by emphasizing that "what's missing from the ABC interview is any discussion of independent counsel Kenneth Starr and his tactics now under investigation by the Department of Justice," a gap NBC eagerly filled.
Anchor Tom Brokaw
set up the back-to-back pieces:
Lewinsky agreed to the ABC interview with Barbara Walters in order to
promote her new book and to polish her image, explaining how she
apologizes to the country and says she is sorry for what Chelsea and
Hillary were put through. As for Bill Clinton, Bloom relayed, she's
still enamored and calls him "my sexual soul mate." Bloom then
got to Starr:
Sort of like how NBC Nightly News did not want viewers to hear about Broaddrick, which is "what's missing from" the NBC show.
Next, Bob Faw
examined the selling of Lewinsky and various views of how interested the
public is in her tale. After noting that she was paid $600,000 for a book
written for her that will be released Thursday, as the camera zoomed in on
a full page ABC News newspaper ad for 20/20, Faw observed:
Faw moved on to other marketing angles being pursued by Lewinsky, such as a British TV interview.
At the end of the next ad break Nightly News viewers heard another hit on Starr in a Today promo for the author of the Lewinsky book: "Thursday on Today. Ken Starr wouldn't let Monica tell all, but there's one man who can tell us what she couldn't say. Thursday on Today."
See NBC's promotion of ABC News. Wednesday morning the MRC's Kristina Sewell will cue up these NBC stories so Sean Henry can place a RealPlayer clip from them, including the panning of the ABC ad, on the MRC home page. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Are the New York executives for NBC News ashamed of their big Broaddrick scoop and trying to suppress her story? You be the judge:
-- Spiked by Nightly News. As noted in #1 above, NBC Nightly News never aired a story on Broaddrick. Lisa Myers even produced a piece on reaction to her Dateline interview. Her report ran on the February 25 News with Brian Williams on MSNBC, as detailed in the February 26 CyberAlert, but never appeared on Nightly News.
-- Replay of the
Dateline with Broaddrick spiked. Since NBC canceled Nightside last fall,
the network has fed two hours of re-runs to affiliates at 2am ET, though
MT and PT stations can carry the hours in reverse sequence. Monday through
Friday night NBC offers a replay of the Tonight Show followed by the soap
opera Sunset Beach. Saturday night NBC feeds Saturday Night Live again.
And Sunday nights, the Sunday Dateline followed by Meet the Press.
-- NBC News is restricting use of the Broaddrick video, even by its own shows, the Drudge Report disclosed Sunday night (www.drudgereport.com):
NBC NEWS executives are washing Juanita Broaddrick right out of their hair.
NBC NEWS has issued an order restricting the use of Juanita Broaddrick's DATELINE interview, it has been learned.
Effective March 1 at 12:01 AM, NBC outlets will be restricted from using the exclusive Broaddrick footage.
"No wonder the White House isn't concerned, no one will see her anymore," one frustrated MSNBC anchor said off-the-air.
MSNBC and CNBC producers will have to work through NBC lawyers, on a case by case basis, to receive authorization to use the Lisa Myers/Broaddrick session....
END excerpt from the Drudge Report.
Though the Sunday interview and talk shows focused on it (more in item #5 below) the Broaddrick story is being ignored by the regular network morning and evening shows. But if journalists don't pursue it the story will wither away.
As Fred Barnes
observed in the lead editorial for the March 8 Weekly Standard:
A "travesty" is under way. (To read the entire magazine editorial, go to: http://www.weeklystandard.com. It's the only item on the Web page.)
Here's a list of how the network news shows, other than Sunday morning programs, have not covered Broaddrick since her story broke in the February 19 Wall Street Journal. The February 20 front page story in the Washington Post and February 24 Dateline also offered hooks for stories. (MSNBC and FNC each aired several prime time stories last week, including pieces Thursday about Patricia Ireland warning the White House to not impugn Broaddrick. See the February 26 CyberAlert.)
-- ABC. Nothing on World News Tonight through Tuesday night (no WNT in east because of golf Sunday night) or on Nightline. No story or interview segment on Good Morning America, though the show raised the subject twice: First, on February 19 Charlie Gibson wondered aloud to Diane Sawyer why the Dorothy Rabinowitz piece appeared on the editorial page. See the February 22 CyberAlert for details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990222.html#2
morning March 1, during an interview with departing Clinton spinner Paul
Begala, Gibson posed two questions noticed by MRC analyst Jessica
Morton allowed Ireland to counter that the rape charge makes this case different, before concluding: "For many reasons -- it was so long ago, she once swore it didn't happen, and so on -- hers is a story which is unlikely to develop, unlikely to have a chapter two."
Certainly not if the most-watched broadcast network shows never even bother to inform their viewers about it.
The networks aren't the only media outlets reluctant to touch the Broaddrick story. An editor for a major newspaper wrote on Sunday about the reluctance he encountered when he asked the AP if the wire service planned to distribute a story on Dorothy Rabinowitz's Wall Street Journal story. In Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal, Editor Thomas Mitchell recounted how the AP told him Broaddrick's story was not newsworthy.
In this excerpt from his February 28 column Mitchell opens by observing how mainstream media resistance to the Broaddrick story shows the fallacy of the current liberal establishment complaint that alternative media sources are driving them to go with unverified rumors:
Hand-wringing over the Broaddrick matter
The talking heads on TV and various print pundits have been contemplating their collective navels over just what the handling of the Juanita Broaddrick story says about the state of the American media.
They say that the speed of the Internet has dazzled us news executives, making us leap too soon to publish or broadcast, trammeling old standards of verification and substantiation. They say the competition to be first has supplanted our ideals. They say the threshold for salaciousness has been lowered. They say the definition of news has been rewritten because these kinds of allegations were never aired about other presidents.
Using a kind of inductive reasoning, the pundits are taking this one, unique story and its unique set of circumstances and trying to hold it up as an example of some sweeping woe-is-us trend in the profession.
Call me a heretic, but I think they and their dogma of journalistic doom are so much hot air. Has the bar been lowered for what allegations are worthy of ink and air time? No, the facts have been stacked so high that the bar just looks lower. Without Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Willey and other Jane Does from Arkansas to the D. of C., there would be no story about Juanita Broaddrick's claim that she was raped by Bill Clinton in a Little Rock hotel room 21 years ago....
When I saw the column by Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Journal, I picked up the phone and called a couple of editors at The Associated Press, asking if they were going to report on this topic. The messages trickled back during the day that the AP did not report on opinion columns, and later that this was not newsworthy because Broaddrick's story kept changing. She had, after all, signed an affidavit denying anything happened. (And Clinton had wagged his finger at the television camera, I recalled.)
Thinking this story was something our readers should be able to judge for themselves on its own merits or lack thereof, I called the Journal and obtained permission to reprint the entire Rabinowitz column in our Sunday Focus section.
That afternoon, the AP moved a short story on the topic, breaking no new ground and omitting most pertinent details. I told the news desk to run it inside the A section of the paper.
That evening, The Washington Post moved its own version, including its previously off-the-record quotes from Broaddrick. By the time News Editor Mary Greeley reached me at home, she had already bumped a story about prescription costs off the front page and replaced it with the Post report....
Mitchell and Greeley definitely aren't qualified to work for the New York Times, which waited several more days before even mentioning Broaddrick.
To read the entirety of the column by Mitchell, go to: http://www.lvrj.com and click on "archives." Or, go directly to: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/1999/Feb-28-Sun-1999/opinion/10689834.html
Broaddrick dominated Sunday morning, but one supposed expert, who claimed "this story got plenty of play" during the week, needs to be reading the CyberAlerts. (Item #3 above details how the network morning and even shows have handled Broaddrick.)
On Sunday, for the second week in a row, CBS's Face the Nation skipped the subject, focusing instead on Y2K computer problems. Fox News Sunday, in contrast, for the second week in a row, focused on Broaddrick. Guest Dan Quayle was asked about it, the show brought on Dorothy Rabinowitz and Steve Brill to talk about it and it was the first item discussed for the roundtable during which Brit Hume credited Tim Russert for pushing the story.
ABC's This Week focused on Broaddrick during the roundtable and Sam Donaldson's first question to guest Tom Daschle raised her name. CNN's Late Edition covered Broaddrick and most of NBC's Meet the Press focused on the charge and its coverage: Bill Bennett, Susan Estrich and Patricia Ireland appeared together and later Tim Russert talked with Howard Kurtz and Lisa Myers.
On Fox News Sunday Rabinowitz noted the "silence" from much of the media especially the networks. Steve Brill, a supposed media expert as owner of Content magazine, ignored the broadcast blackout, insisting: "You and I must be living in a different country, because I thought all last week, if I turned to any of the cable news channels and if I turned to the Washington Post and then after that even the New York Times, I saw this story. I thought this story got plenty of play, and I think there are a lot of people who would argue that it got much too much play given that it's one person's allegations."
Later, in the roundtable, Brit Hume, FNC's Washington Managing Editor, expounded upon who got NBC to run the story and how the other networks are not pursuing it:
"Do you think NBC would have run the story if the Washington Post
hadn't put it on the front page?"
To watch this exchange in RealPlayer format, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
"I don't believe it at all," declared Time magazine's Jack E. White on Inside Washington when asked about Juanita Broaddrick's charge.
On the February 27
show which runs on many PBS stations and WUSA-TV, the CBS affiliate in
Washington, DC, liberal columnist Jack Germond assessed: "I think
she's very credible, a very credible witness as they say."
Newsweek's Evan Thomas agreed: "Yea, she was very convincing. It's
pretty hard to watch that show and not think he did it." After
NPR's Nina Totenberg helpfully remarked that "I'm left just not
knowing what to do about it" and Charles Krauthammer said he found
her believable, host Gordon Peterson turned to Time's national
correspondent who, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brian Boyd, put himself
to the left of the show's liberals:
I seem to recall that a few years ago Jack E. White left Time and for a few months served as a top producer for ABC's World News Tonight. With that show snubbing the Broaddrick story it appears he's still in tune with his old employer. -- Brent Baker
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