CyberAlert -- 03/19/1999 -- China "Red Meat" for Partisan GOP; Brokaw Denounced "Conservative Dogmas"
China "Red Meat" for Partisan GOP; Brokaw Denounced "Conservative Dogmas"
1) ABC focused Thursday night not on the Clinton administration's actions on Los Alamos but on how Republicans are exploiting it as a partisan issue. NBC downgraded the gravity of the situation by stressing how, thanks to the GOP, it "is now more about politics."
The anti-Ken Starr episodes of Law & Order and Homicide: See them before they're gone. On Monday, after the usual 30 day exposure, the video clips from the NBC shows will be removed from the MRC's biased videos page. So, if you missed them before you still have a few days to watch excerpts from the two NBC dramas which devoted a cross-over arc to the misdeeds of an out of control independent counsel, clearly meant to represent Ken Starr. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html and scroll to the bottom of the list of RealPlayer formatted video clips.
Thursday night ABC's World News Tonight ran just its fourth full story on Chinese espionage since the scandal broke in the March 6 New York Times, but focused not on the Clinton administration's actions but on how Republicans are exploiting it as a partisan issue. "The charge that Mr. Clinton is soft on China is red meat for conservatives," asserted Linda Douglass.
The ABC, CBS, FNC and NBC evening shows on Thursday all gave a few seconds to President Clinton's announcement that he had asked former Senator Warren Rudman to review security procedures at the nuclear laboratories. CNN's The World Today carried a full story from Andrea Koppel on the China situation.
Wednesday night, March 17, zilch on CBS, ABC gave a few seconds to Energy Secretary Bill Richardson's request for more money for security and NBC ran a full story from Andrea Mitchell on Richardson's congressional testimony, but she argued that though conservatives "want to punish China," a "a leading Republican" says that "would be a big mistake." Mitchell concluded by stressing how "even critics of the administration say China policy is now more about politics with Republicans taking every shot they can get."
-- March 18 World News Tonight.
ABC's Linda Douglass began her update of the espionage case by noting how
Richardson has been on Capitol Hill all week denying the administration
was slow to act. After a soundbite from him she spent the remainder of her
story demonstrating how Republicans are making it a partisan issue.
"The furor has so alarmed
the Chinese government," Douglass continued, noting that their
Washington embassy held a press conference to deny the charges and decry
how U.S.-China relations are the victim of party politics.
Congressional oversight is their job and the media certainly aren't going to press too much judging by their timidity on this story so far.
-- March 17 World News Tonight. Anchor Charles Gibson read this short item: "In Washington today, a response to criticism of nuclear secrets leaking to China. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he is asking for $8 million to increase the security of emails and classified documents at nuclear weapons labs. And he's going to ask the former director of the CIA, John Deutsch, to conduct a review of the program that lets scientists from foreign countries work at the labs."
-- March 17 NBC Nightly News.
Andrea Mitchell provided the show's third full story on the scandal. She
began, as transcribed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:
Mitchell then provided a solid
summary of the situation, adding a fresh fact about collect calls:
"The question being asked today by the Senate Intelligence committee
and others, why did this happen? Energy Department documents obtained by
NBC News show officials have had longstanding concerns about lax security.
Lab scientists did not check with superiors before giving information to
Chinese scientists. Chinese visitors actually called China from the labs.
The lab even accepted collect calls from China. And lab scientists
visiting China reported that their luggage including sensitive documents
was missing mysteriously for days. And hotel rooms were bugged. Bottom
line. Were laws broken? The Energy Department has fired one Los Alamos
scientist Wen Ho Lee for suspicious contacts dating back 11 years during
the Reagan administration. But Lee is not charged with spying. The FBI
admits the trail of evidence is cold."
Are journalists skeptical and cynical? Supposedly so, but not so far on the China espionage scandal where the supposedly leery media in Washington are willing to give Clinton's team the benefit of the doubt about the suggestion that campaign contributions from China may have impacted policy decisions.
As noted in the March 15
CyberAlert, Ted Koppel wrapped up his intro to the March 12 Nightline by
Another Washington journalist
agreed in the subsequent Nightline piece. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson
caught this from Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus:
I don't recall this reticent approach during Iran-Contra. Reporters then didn't assume that arms went one way and money another because of "the coincidences of the calendar."
"Star Wars," nice nickname or mocking, derogatory term? Depends which hour you watch the Fox News Channel. And putting the burden on the U.S. for ruining arms control, from Moscow NBC's Tom Brokaw warned: "The new American version of Star Wars -- Congress determined to build a system to knock out incoming missiles. That has the Russians worried."
The Senate voted 97-3 on Wednesday to approve building a missile defense system. In a story aired on FNC's 6pm ET Special Report with Brit Hume, David Shuster recalled: "Most Democrats have mockingly dismissed what they call Star Wars since Ronald Reagan proposed it 16 years ago." But an hour later, on the 7pm ET Fox Report, the network did not run Shuster's piece and held the story to a brief item read by anchor Paula Zahn. But she offered a more benign definition of the term "Star Wars," declaring: "Star Wars is making a comeback on Capitol Hill. The Senate voted 97 to 3 to start a nationwide missile defense system. The idea was nicknamed Star Wars when President Reagan proposed that system back in the 1980s..."
In fact, the bill the Senate passed Wednesday and the House on Thursday, would create a ground-based system, not a satellite-based system as envisioned by Reagan. Thursday night CNN's The World Today gave Jamie McIntyre time to explain the planned project and NBC Nightly News ran a full piece from Jim Miklaszewski, but neither the CBS Evening News nor ABC's World News Tonight mentioned the vote on either Wednesday or Thursday night.
Miklaszewski's piece followed
Tom Brokaw's opening remarks from Moscow:
NBC later played excerpts of Brokaw's interview with the Russian Prime Minister.
If conservatives experienced the darkest events of World War II then they'd be liberals or at least less intolerant, Tom Brokaw seemingly argued at one point in his much-publicized book, The Greatest Generation. In the book, Brokaw recounts heroic World War II experiences by those who returned to America and built the country during the '50s and '60s.
Most of us at the MRC like to watch, TV that is, but news analyst Mark Drake actually does some reading of an old-fashioned medium: books. Going through Brokaw's tome he caught this hit on conservatives at the end a chapter about the experiences of liberal Republican Mark Hatfield, the former Senator from Oregon.
So in 1996, Mark Hatfield retired and returned to his beloved Oregon to teach and share in the benefits he had brought to his state during thirty years in the Senate. He left as he arrived, a man of strong independent convictions and still a member of the Republican Party, despite the changes in the DNA of the GOP in recent years.
Commenting on the Republican newcomers, Hatfield told a reporter, 'There are those who think we should be of one mind. They feel, perhaps, that diversity in the party is a weakness, not a strength. I'm an Old Guard Republican. The founders of our party were for small business, education, cutting the military budget. That was our platform in 1856 and I think it's still a darned good one.'
Some of the newer Republican Senators, with their strict conservative dogmas, may never understand a man like Mark Hatfield, but then they've never shuttled Marines ashore under heavy fire at Iwo Jima or Okinawa. They've never looked out on the otherworldly landscape of nuclear devastation and shared their lunch with a starving Japanese child."
How arrogant. People who lived through Hatfield's experiences were, no doubt, profoundly affected and while many became liberal or moderate in their later years, many also became quite conservative and are no less tolerant of other views than liberals are of conservative ones. I'm sure the Christian Coalition membership includes many World War II veterans and while Bob Dole may not be a solid conservative, he certainly had first-hand exposure to the horrors of war and became much more conservative than Hatfield.
The lifetime achievement award to be presented to director Elia Kazan at the Academy Awards on Sunday night has generated quite a bit of moral indignation from the film industry because Kazan actually answered honestly when asked to identify those supporting a totalitarian, murderous regime working to conquer nations around the world.
Friday night the leftist
outrage will get an airing on ABC. Here's the promo for the Match 19 World
News Tonight aired Thursday night:
If I have time, I'll send a CyberAlert on Saturday with some examples of Hollywood's inability to "move on" as they can't forget what Kazan did 45-plus years ago. But here's one example, from writer-director Abraham Polonsky on what he hopes will occur during the Oscar ceremony: "I'll be watching, hoping someone shoots him. It would no doubt be a thrill in an otherwise dull evening."
Quite an appreciation of diversity. -- Brent Baker
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