CyberAlert -- 03/05/1999 -- Monica: Victim of Right-Wing Conspiracy; Morton: Tripp "Evil," Starr "Big Brother."
Monica: Victim of Right-Wing Conspiracy; Morton: Tripp "Evil," Starr "Big Brother."
2) Lewinsky told book author Andrew Morton that Clinton admitted his life is "filled with lies and subterfuge." Only FNC noticed this as the other networks instead highlighted Lewinsky's attacks on Starr.
5) ABC's Terry Moran approvingly noted how Harry Blackmun shifted "from conservative to liberal positions fueled by a frank sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised." Only CNN noted how pro-lifers blame him for the deaths of millions of the unborn.
>>> "When Is A Rape Charge
Irrelevant? Media Establishment Complains Standards Have Changed, But All
That's Changed Are the Targets." The latest Media Reality Check fax
report will be posted Friday morning on the new MRC home page: http://www.mrc.org.
The MRC's Tim Graham opened the report:
The Hillary-Monica Alliance. In January 1998 Hillary Clinton claimed Bill Clinton was the target of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Thursday night Monica Lewinsky agreed, asserting she's "been used as a pawn" by the conspirators. Of the Thursday evening shows, only FNC showed this soundbite from her British interview.
The March 5 Fox
Report at 7pm ET opened with a piece from Greg Palkot in London with
highlights from Lewinsky's interview on Britain's Channel 4 News.
After clips of her saying Clinton "concentrated on me" more than
she on him sexually during their first encounter and musing about how
"I thought to myself, 'oh his regular girlfriend is probably
furloughed and I just got lucky and that was a neat, exciting experience
and boy, gee I hope it would happen again,'" FNC viewers saw this
bite of Lewinsky:
(See and hear Lewinsky: Friday morning a RealPlayer clip of this portion of the FNC story will be placed next to this item on the posted version of this CyberAlert on the MRC home page.)
Ken Starr can't get a break. In the just-released book written by Andrew Morton, Monica Lewinsky revealed that, as reported Thursday night by FNC's Rita Cosby, "President Clinton confided in her that he's lived a life, quote 'filled with lies and subterfuge.'" But only FNC bothered informing viewers of that derogatory information about Bill Clinton as ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC instead focused solely on the complaints in her book about how Starr's agents treated her at the Ritz Carlton. Judge Norma Holloway Johnson already decided Starr's staff did not improperly detain Lewinsky or deny her right to counsel, a fact noted by CBS and NBC, but not by CNN. Only NBC's Lisa Myers raised how damaging Starr's reputation could hurt his chances of getting a conviction against Susan McDougal and Web Hubbell.
Here's how the Thursday, March 4 evening shows handled the Lewinsky story. All but FNC, which began with the British interview as described in item #1 above, led with the not guilty decision in the gondola case.
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Aaron Brown looked at the Morton book and how Lewinsky is off to Europe to promote it. Turning to the future, Brown examined what opportunities Lewinsky might have for commercial endorsements. He suggested they may be tough to get because Steve Connelly, President Ingals Advertising, explained: "Women are generally harder on women to begin with and here's a woman that actively stalked a married man."
I thought the "stalking" theory was long ago discredited.
Next, Jackie Judd summarized Lewinsky's complaints about Starr's team, such as calling one prosecutor "a revolting specimen of humanity," and how she fears being prosecuted. That's an unwarranted fear Judd reported because while Lewinsky is saying "harsh" things about Starr's staff her comments do not violate their immunity deal.
-- CBS Evening
News. Dan Rather dramatically intoned:
-- FNC's Fox
Report. After Greg Palkot checked in from London, Rita Cosby
reported how in book by Morton Lewinsky "blasts independent Counsel
Kenneth Starr and his team of prosecutors, saying she had no choice but to
accept the immunity deal. Quote, 'I felt like Hitler's whore. I felt
what Starr was doing was so wrong. They were trying to hurt people I
No other network mentioned the "lies and subterfuge" revelation.
-- CNN's The
World Today. Wolf Blitzer began his one-sided and incomplete story:
"As hundreds of thousands of copies of Monica Lewinsky's book went
on sale, there was perhaps only this silver lining for President Clinton:
The book provides more weight to allegations that Ken Starr's
prosecutors violated her constitutional right to speak to a lawyer when
they first confronted her."
-- NBC Nightly
News. Lisa Myers started her story: "The target of Lewinsky's most
scathing criticism, the man she claims terrorized her and used her as a
pawn to get the President, today declined to fire back. Instead, Ken Starr
actually praised Monica's television performance." Following a
soundbite from Starr, Myers continued: "Starr's associates note
that a federal judge already dismissed most of Lewinsky's complaints
about how prosecutors treated her at this hotel last January, which her
book calls 'Terror in Room 1012.'"
More Starr bashing, plus hatred for Tripp. His appearance on Thursday's Today demonstrated that Andrew Morton not only put Lewinsky's disgust for Starr and Linda Tripp into words in his authorized biography, Monica's Story, but he also embraces her views.
On the March 4 Today he told Katie Couric that Lewinsky was "quite maliciously held" by Starr's team at the hotel, that Starr had "managed to break Marcia Lewis' spirit" as both parents considered suicide to escape Starr of whom Morton ominously warned: "He's big brother. He's watching you as well." He called Tripp "evil" and charged: "There's no female character who's betrayed a another woman quite so comprehensively, quite so systematically, and quite so maliciously as this woman has."
Today devoted all but two minutes of the 7am half hour after the news update to Couric's interview with Morton. As MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens documented, Couric and Morton spent most of the interview discussing the misdeeds of Starr and Tripp. Here are some excerpts:
-- Katie Couric:
"Let's talk about her views of Ken Starr. That's something that she
really wasn't permitted to address when she spoke with Barbara Walters.
You talk about how Starr's deputies interrogated her for 12 hours on
January 16th, 1998. It's a chapter you call, 'Terror in Room 1012.'
"You write in the book, Andrew, that at some point Ken Starr's
tactics even drove her parents, Monica Lewinsky's parents, to consider
"She has complete hatred and revulsion for Linda Tripp."
"She's never met Ken Starr and yet she detests him as well."
-- At this point
Lisa Myers checked in with a brief report on Lewinsky's charges against
Starr. After it Couric asked Morton for his reaction:
Attention early morning readers: More of Couric's taped interview with Morton will air on Friday's Today.
See and hear Morton impugn Starr and Tripp. Friday morning the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry will place on the new MRC home page a RealPlayer clip from this interview. Just go to: http://www.mrc.org
People are not outraged enough over Starr's tactics and how he has "terrified" Lewinsky, maintained Harold Evans, Mort Zuckerman's top deputy who oversees U.S. News and the New York Daily News. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught this exchange on the March 3 Hockenberry show on MSNBC:
"One thing which surprises me so far in the reaction: Why isn't
there more concern about the fact that Kenneth Starr did not allow her to
speak about what happened. Why is he holding this woman in terror?
With all the reporting about her charges made in the Morton book her criticisms of Starr have hardly been hidden.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who died Thursday, was one of the Constitution's "greatest defenders," Peter Jennings asserted before ABC reporter Terry Moran approvingly noted how he had grown in office, shifting "from conservative to liberal positions fueled by a frank sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised."
ABC, CNN and NBC ran full reports on the career of the man best known for authoring Roe v. Wade and those three networks plus a brief piece on CBS showed video of Blackmun wiggling his ears, but only CNN relayed the view of pro-lifers that Blackmun's ruling led to the deaths of million of the unborn.
On ABC's March 4
World News Tonight Peter Jennings effused:
Just as long as the person manages to be born.
On NBC Nightly News Pete Williams traced Blackmun's ideological movement, but refrained from saying it meant he cared more: "Appointed by Richard Nixon in 1970 as a conservative, Harry Blackmun retired from the Supreme Court 24 years later as its most liberal voice."
Charles Bierbauer on The World Today made room for a conservative view,
giving a soundbite to a liberal and then offering a summary of the other
More free media in prime time for the latest liberal cause. Check out this
plot outline for Sunday's The Practice on ABC, from TV Guide:
The Practice is a
10pm ET/PT drama revolving around a law firm in Boston.
How helpful of ABC to aid in the promotion of a liberal cause. Conservatives must earn donations and buy ad time. Liberals can get Hollywood to portray their cause as the noble one. -- Brent Baker
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