CyberAlert -- 06/19/1996 -- Clinton Slick?; Anti-Hillary Smear Attack?
Clinton Slick?; Anti-Hillary
Three brief Filegate and Whitewater coverage updates.
2) On CBS This Morning the fill-in co-host acts as a Clinton campaign operative and dismisses the relevance of the Senate Whitewater report. Referring to it and upcoming travelgate hearings she wonders "Are we really wasting money and time when there's already an independent counsel?"
Tuesday morning on Today Tim Russert declared: "If things are as they
say they are with Filegate, there's no problem. But if the President or
the First Lady or any high-ranking White House official authorized or
condoned gathering files, this small kind of ripple could capsize this
administration. It is that big of an event."
On the June 18 edition of CBS This Morning fill-in co-host Erin
Moriarty interviewed Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari, Hillary
friend Lynn Cutler and Washington Post reporter David Maraniss. MediaWatch
Associate Editor Tim Graham noticed the very pro-Clinton tilt of her
questions. All seven try to dismiss the importance of the Whitewater
matter as a whole lot of nothing. Here are her questions, as transcribed
by MRC intern Jessica Anderson:
ABC's World News Tonight on Tuesday night (June 18) led with three stories
in a row on Clinton scandals. Peter Jennings announced that the Senate
Republican report "is very harsh about Mrs. Clinton above all."
First, Jackie Judd provided a story on the Senate Whitewater reports.
Second, Michele Norris reviewed the allegations against Mrs. Clinton.
Norris pointed out how records contradict some of her claims and
concluded: "The Clintons accuse their critics of bombarding them with
a never ending stream of questions to keep them on the defensive. But an
examination of the First Lady's statements suggest that problems like
Whitewater stay afloat because while the questions keep coming, the
answers often change."
On NBC Nightly News Tom Brokaw asserted in his top of the show opening: "The White House and those FBI files, the controversy that won't die as the President's men scramble some more." NBC aired a story by Brian Williams on Filegate and a piece by Lisa Myers on Whitewater.
CBS, however, was in a different world, not airing a full story on Filegate. Instead, 12 minutes into the broadcast Dan Rather did a brief item on Livingstone going on leave. Then Rather offered this even-handed assessment: "The more than year-long investigation ended almost the way it began: A Republican offensive targeted First Lady Hillary Clinton. Democrats claim that it's an all-out-election-year-political-smear-attack."
-- Brent Baker