CyberAlert -- 05/19/1999 -- Cox Clogged by Commerce; Today Showcased Webcam Zoomed in on Goldberg

Cox Clogged by Commerce; Today Showcased Webcam Zoomed in on Goldberg

1) "The Commerce Department is now blocking" the "declassification and release" of the Cox Report, FNC's Carl Cameron told Brit Hume.

2) NBC's Gwen Ifill complained that after "a month of public outrage" over the Columbine shooting "the Senate still remains tangled up in finger pointing over gun control." CBS highlighted how "trust is the theme of every Bradley speech."

3) Steve Roberts arguing for gun regulations: "Are they preventive? No....They do work. They don't, there are no guarantees, they don't prevent anything." Got it?

4) Today showcased Michael Moore's Webcam focused on Lucianne Goldberg's apartment windows. Instead of condemning the invasion of privacy, Katie Couric laughed about it.

5) The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz spread a CyberAlert finding to a greater audience, noting how CBS and MSNBC ignored Chung.

bozell0519.jpg (12458 bytes)>>> Watch a video replay of MRC Chairman Brent Bozell on Tuesday night's O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. Wednesday morning the MRC's Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell will post, in RealPlayer format, his four-and-a-half minute appearance in which he outlined how the broadcast networks have refused to cover major disclosures on the Chinese espionage and contributions fronts. To watch the interview, go to:
All videos are posted for one month on the MRC's biased videos page: <<<

>>> If you haven't yet, check out the MRC's new Special Report. "All the News That's Fit to Skip: Network Apathy Toward Chinese Contributions and Espionage." To read it online, go to: <<<

Corrections. Missing a word and a letter in the May 18 CyberAlert. "I don't why since Davis has paid no penalty for all his lying" should have read: "I don't know why..." And, "No try to follow this Davis spin of the truth" should have been "Now try..."


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) The Cox Report has been delayed some more by embarrassed Clinton operatives, Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron revealed Tuesday night. On Special Report with Brit Hume the host of the same name asked Cameron: "What about the fabled Cox report on Chinese influence and the spying scandal? What is the status of that?"

Carl Cameron disclosed: "This is the report that says China both stole nuclear secrets and acquired through legal tech exports all kinds of U.S. secrets. It has been approved for release by the National Security Agency, the CIA and the FBI but the Commerce Department is now blocking its declassification and release. And there is some expectation that part of their objection to its release is their approval of exports of super computers to China. China has some 600 as result of Clinton administration policy and many of those computers have been used for nuclear testing."


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) The broadcast networks were not, as usual, concerned about China Tuesday night or morning. ABC and CBS led in the evening with the Federal Reserve Board warning that they are worried about inflation while NBC went first with gun control. NBC's Gwen Ifill zeroed in on how after "a month of public outrage" over the Columbine shooting "the Senate still remains tangled up in finger pointing over gun control." All last year the networks insisted the Lewinsky matter was part of Clinton's "personal life" but Tuesday night, in his profile of Bill Bradley, CBS reporter Phil Jones found even Democrats don't trust Al Gore so "trust is the theme of every Bradley speech." (More below)

Other Tuesday night topics: ABC and CBS ran full stories on a study in JAMA about how a drug called "tremacamra" can reduce the risk of getting a cold. The CBS Evening News "Eye on America" segment explored a new technique to correct spina bifida: surgery on the fetus. NBC Nightly News provided an In Depth piece on the bad things that happen later in life to exotic zoo animals bred to show off as babies. NBC also delivered a report on "Benecol," a new margarine that lowers your cholesterol. A look at rising movie ticket prices wrapped up the NBC show as ABC's World News Tonight ended with an item of how the first female matador in Spain has decided to quit since chauvinistic men refused to appear with her.

I thought we were supposed to celebrate "diversity."

-- CBS Evening News, May 18. Phil Jones caught up with the Bill Bradley campaign in the Granite State:
"...On the stump in New Hampshire Bradley, who also played politics for 18 years as U.S. Senator from New Jersey, is finding disgruntled Democrats who are looking for an alternative to Gore."
Man: "I'm not sure that I trust what Gore says."
Jones: "Trust is the theme of every Bradley speech."
Bradley: "I think one of the key things here is trust and by that I mean trust in the President as an individual...."

-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw greeted viewers at the top of the show: "Tonight in the U.S. Senate the haunting experience of Columbine is altering the lines of power on a major bill about kids and crime and guns."
Gwen Ifill began by assuming that public outrage means more gun control is the logical action to take: "Four weeks after the Columbine High School shootings, a month of public outrage, and yet the Senate still remains tangled up in finger pointing over gun control."
After competing soundbites from Senators Lott and Daschle she noted how the Senate agreed to require gun sellers to provide safety locks and to "ban bomb making information from the Internet," though she failed to explain how the government would achieve such an impossible goal. Next, she showcased how Speaker Denny Hastert is now for more gun control, in his words, "common sense things."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Gun control does work, but it doesn't prevent anything bad from happening. Or maybe it's just "symbolic" since it's not "preventive." But then again, it is "common sense" to enact more of these ineffective rules. So goes the liberal reasoning on gun control as nicely expressed Sunday by Washington media veteran Steve Roberts, aka Mr. Cokie.

MRC analyst Paul Smith caught this illuminating exchange on CNN's Late Edition between Roberts, now with U.S. News but once with the New York Times, and The Weekly Standard's Tucker Carlson.

Steve Roberts: "One of the comments that Attorney General Reno said to you, she used the word common sense and the fact is that most Americans think gun control, child safety locks on guns, waiting periods, issues of these kind that they make sense. Are they preventive? No. Do they guarantee? No. But if the Republican Party allows its obligations to the NRA to pull them out of the mainstream and appear to be against common sense provisions as we were talking last week, I think they are going to pay a price for it."
Tucker Carlson: "But if they don't work, why are they common sense?"
Roberts: "They do work. They don't, there are no guarantees, they don't prevent anything. They increase the odds of having a civilized and sane debate about this."

We need gun control so we can have a "civilized" debate? Gun control doesn't work but being for it does make liberals feel morally superior to conservatives, especially when Republican leaders are falling over themselves to cave in so they gain media approval.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) You've got a continuous camera feed invading Lucianne Goldberg's privacy by zooming in on her apartment windows, hee, hee, giggle, giggle. Isn't that funny. She's getting what she deserves.

That's the attitude Today co-host Katie Couric conveyed Tuesday morning in bringing left-wing crank Michael Moore aboard to promote his Webcam look at Goldberg's New York apartment windows. Instead of remaining consistent and condemning his invasion of her privacy as the network stars did to Goldberg last year for encouraging Linda Tripp to tape her calls with Monica Lewinsky, Katie Couric spent five minutes giving legitimacy to Moore's public relations gimmick for his new show on Bravo, The Awful Truth.

MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens took down much of the May 18 interview, noting when Couric offered approving laughter:

Katie Couric: "Michael Moore put the problems of Flint, Michigan on the map with his documentary called Roger and Me. His latest target is New York book agent Lucianne Goldberg. Remember her? She's the one who convinced Linda Tripp to secretly record Monica Lewinsky. Well Moore says that was an invasion of privacy so he's decided to turn the tables on Goldberg. It all started with a chance meeting in a makeup room of a TV talk show. [clip from Moore's television show of him at FNC's studios] And so now Moore has trained a live 24 hour a day Internet camera on Lucianne Goldberg's apartment. He calls it the 'I see Lucy cam.' Michael Moore what are you doing?"
[approving giggles and laughter from Couric]
Moore: "Well I got a new show on TV called the Awful Truth. It's on Bravo and as part of our show I just thought it would be interesting to turn the tables on her. I was on the show with her, on this Drudge show, and she said that she didn't think it was wrong to violate somebody's privacy if they were a threat to the country and I said, 'How would you like it if I filmed you in your living room?' And she said, 'Well if I was a threat to the country you should.' And you know I keep seeing her on TV still. I thought this whole impeachment thing was over and I just, well she is a threat to the country and I want this thing to go away. So we put up this Webcam, which is completely legal, on her apartment and anybody can log in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And we are also asking, you know, my, our fellow citizens of the country who want to keep an eye on her in case, you know, she's up to something else. Take us down another road where we get distracted for a year and a half. Just keep an eye on her and let's try and stop her next time."
Couric: "Now this is a live Internet picture that we are showing right now of Lucianne Goldberg's apartment. Before we talk about what you've been able to see in there, which I don't think is too much, you had a lot of people willing to set up the camera in their adjacent apartments. Is that right?"
Moore: "Yeah people all over the neighborhood were willing to do this....
Couric: "Now I understand the most exciting thing you've seen is somebody watching Touched by an Angel Sunday night. I watch that as well."....
Moore: "....We have listed, you know, the words to the Fourth Amendment which is our privacy amendment. You know because, actually we don't believe this is the right thing to do. And that you know this whole thing started with her. You know we were just wondering. I think most people wondering, who are watching this, is when's this thing gonna go away? Ken Starr is still in office, he stills prosecuting people. I still see Lucianne Goldberg on these MSNBC shows. You know it should go. There's other problems going on in the country right now that we should be addressing."

Moore made one successful film nearly 20 years ago and now he won't go away.

Couric then prompted Moore to outline his extortion demands: "Now there's a way for her to stop this invasion of her privacy you say if she will do a couple of things. What are those?"
Moore: "Well I think an apology to the country for putting us through a year and a half, this long national nightmare."
Couric: "Realistically you don't think that's gonna happen do you?"
Moore: "That's probably not going to happen, no. I don't know she's threatened to put up a different. She's trying to sell window space now I heard in the paper yesterday whatever. She's gonna put logos up there and charge companies for them. I don't know."
Couric: "Well that's pretty resourceful."
Moore: "Yeah well, but you know that's how conservatives are. They're much better at that than we are you know. They're always thinking."
Couric: "And you want her to read the Fourth Amendment as well you think that would be a good thing?"
Moore: "Yeah read the Fourth Amendment and learn to respect other people's privacy and you know we'll be happy with that."
Couric: "So she has said in response to this. 'Oh please if this is a joke it isn't funny and if it's serious it's probably actionable which is fine since my lawyers haven't had anything to do in weeks.' Do you think that she is going to file suit?"
Moore: "I think so probably. I hope she does. Yeah I think it would be great if she actually went to court and won a case about respecting somebody's privacy rights considering how she thought it was okay to tape record somebody without them knowing about it. You know it would be good to see a Lucianne Goldberg, you know, court case saying that someone's right to privacy is something that should be cherished."
Couric: "We, incidentally, invited Lucianne Goldberg to appear this morning, she declined. But she will be appearing tonight on Hockenberry on MSNBC."
Moore: "Yeah see what I mean, she's still around!"
[Couric laughs]
Moore: "I mean where does? You know we've got, you know more people were laid off last year than any year in the 1990s. We have more personal bankruptcies filed last year. These are the issues that aren't being discussed. This is what we should be focusing on. And you know why is this President participating in this bombing in Yugoslavia? I mean why aren't we talking about that instead of having her on Hockenberry again."
Couric: "Michael Moore. Thank you for that political statement and thank you for coming by this morning. Nice to see you."

Goldberg and Tripp never got such nice interviews on Today. It helps to be a left-wing gimmickmeister with a target the media despise.


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Great minds report alike. In his Monday "Media Notes" column, Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz ruminated about why Kathleen Willey's appearances last week on cable talk shows generated little wider media interest. Then, in a paragraph relaying the same information as did a CyberAlert last week, Kurtz noted how only FNC covered Johnny Chung's testimony "for more than 20 minutes" and neither CBS or MSNBC ran stories that night.

Here is the first third of Kurtz's May 17 "Style" section report:

Kathleen Willey was all over cable television last week. No one much cared.

The former White House volunteer, whose tale of presidential groping mesmerized the country on "60 Minutes" last year, charged the Clinton administration with trying to intimidate her. In appearances with CNBC's Chris Matthews, CNN's Larry King and MSNBC's John Hockenberry, Willey expressed outrage at what she described as a White House effort to discredit her.

The lack of journalistic interest might be ascribed to sex-scandal fatigue after President Clinton's long impeachment ordeal. Or it might be said that the media have moved on to graver subjects, from the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade to the continuing fallout from the Littleton shootings.

Or, just perhaps, the news business has a limited attention span, chewing up its subjects and spitting them out once their novelty value has been sufficiently exploited.

Just look at the Monica Lewinsky meteor that streaked across the media horizon. In March, the ex-intern was the much-panted-after interview of the year, delivering Super Bowl-like numbers for Barbara Walters. In April, her marquee value had shrunk to the point that "Today" bumped her on a busy news day. By last weekend, she was trolling for yuks on "Saturday Night Live."

In 1997, Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung was a key figure in the Clinton campaign contributions scandal that dominated the front pages all year. On Tuesday, when he finally testified before a House panel, only Fox News Channel provided more than 20 minutes of live coverage. Chung's testimony about his use of $300,000 from a senior Chinese intelligence official wasn't mentioned on the "CBS Evening News" or MSNBC's "News With Brian Williams."....

END Excerpt

Sound familiar? From the May 12 CyberAlert: "ABC, CNN, FNC and NBC covered Johnny Chung's House testimony Tuesday night, but not CBS or MSNBC's News with Brian Williams. ABC highlighted how Chung blamed the campaign finance system. Of the three cable news channels only FNC carried Chung live for more than 20 minutes."

It was great of Kurtz to spread the information about the lack of news coverage of Chung to a wider audience, but remember that you read about it here first. -- Brent Baker


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