CyberAlert -- 06/29/1999 -- ABC Pushed UN Report on Guns; Nets Ignored How China To Test Missile
ABC Pushed UN Report on Guns; Nets Ignored How China To Test Missile
1) All but FNC led Monday with the surplus announced by Clinton which Dan Rather credited to the "zooming, booming U.S. economy." Only FNC noted that the Starr/Hubbell plea deal could be bad news for Hillary Clinton since Hubbell admitted "covering up" for her.
2) ABC promoted a UN report: "As increasingly restrictive gun laws are enacted in major industrial countries, gun-makers around the globe are flocking to the biggest and least regulated gun market in the world -- the United States."
3) "China is making final preparations to test fire a new mobile intercontinental ballistic missile that the CIA believes will incorporate stolen U.S. missile and warhead secrets," The Washington Times revealed to network apathy.
ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC led Monday night, June 28, with Bill Clinton's announcement of a larger than expected surplus and his plan to spend much of it on Social Security and Medicare. FNC went first with an apparent plea deal between Webster Hubbell and Ken Starr's office, a story mentioned on ABC, discussed with Tim Russert on NBC and also given a full story on CBS and CNN. Only FNC raised the possibility that Hubbell's confession that he did cover up the Castle Grande deal with Hillary Clinton could mean an even more critical final report from the independent counsel on her role.
-- Budget surplus:
NBC Nightly News
anchor Brian Williams characterized the surplus as a "problem"
since it means figuring how to spend it all:
On NBC Nightly News Williams talked about the deal with Tim Russert who termed it a "win, win, win" as it means Hubbell avoids jail, Starr avoids a trial he could have lost and Hillary avoids having to testify. Williams also asked Russert about the story that Bill Clinton will run for Senate from Arkansas in 2002. Russert called it unlikely.
At the top of
FNC's Fox Report David Shuster handled the Hubbell/Starr deal and
uniquely observed that avoiding testifying may not be all good news for
the First Lady:
ABC's World News Tonight on Sunday and Monday night ignored a Sunday, June 27 front page New York Times story about how contrary to Clinton administration assertions they learned of Chinese espionage in 1995, not 1996. But Monday night ABC jumped on a story about guns played on the front page of the Monday Washington Post, even getting soundbites from the very same liberal activists quoted in the Post story.
Under the heading
of "Targeting Guns: Exporters to the U.S.," the June 28
Washington Post headline declared: "Selling in a Land of Opportunity:
Foreign Firms Find a Big Market." Post reporter Sharon Walsh began:
Citing a United Nations study on how 29 nations have tightened gun laws in the past five years, Walsh used Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center and Wendy Cukier of the Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, as her experts.
Now check out how
ABC picked up the Post story without any credit. World News Tonight anchor
Peter Jennings asserted:
reporter/Washington Post reader Lisa Stark explained, as the Post did, how
half of the guns sold in the U.S. come from companies owned overseas.
After a soundbite from Diaz she noted how Smith & Wesson is owned by a
British firm but their guns cannot be sold there and British "laws
are so strict, the British Olympic shooting team, which uses guns like
these, had to practice in France."
Not a word on the Monday morning shows about Sunday's New York Times story on how "Senior White House officials were informed that China might have stolen American nuclear secrets nearly a year earlier than the Clinton administration originally disclosed." (NBC's Today did however, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens pointed out, make room for the really important news of the day. Its lead interview segment discussed speculation about Bill Clinton running for the Senate from Arkansas in 2002.)
In Monday's Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz brought fresh warnings about how "China is making final preparations to test fire a new mobile intercontinental ballistic missile that the CIA believes will incorporate stolen U.S. missile and warhead secrets." But that didn't generate any network interest without a syllable about it Monday morning or night on ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC, nor on FNC which already covered the basic story weeks ago.
Gertz's disclosures advanced information first revealed on June 3 by FNC's Carl Cameron, who reported: "China now plans to move up its development time table and later this year will test not one but two new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S. The second is particularly surprising because it comes years before any U.S. analyst had predicted China would be able to do it and because of how similar it will be to the top weapon in the U.S. arsenal." (See the June 4 CyberAlert for details.)
In his front page June 28 story Gertz reported:
Preparations for the launch of the road-mobile DF-31 -- which could take place as early as next week -- were spotted by U.S. spy satellites at Wuzhai in central China and reported in classified U.S. intelligence reports earlier this month, said U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the reports.
"They are getting ready for a launch," one official said.
The official said one U.S. intelligence agency assessed the DF-31 test missile to be capable of carrying a 2 '-megaton warhead. A megaton is the equivalent of a million tons of TNT.
Other intelligence estimates have said the DF-31 warhead size will be smaller, closer to the 100- to 200-kiloton range that is similar to compact U.S. nuclear warheads.
China's two dozen CSS-4 long-range ICBMs each carry a five-megaton warhead and the CIA reported last year that at least 13 of those missiles were targeted on U.S. cities.
Officials said they were viewing the signs of an impending missile test with caution because an earlier test firing set for December was scrapped, possibly to wait for warmer weather.
The 5,000-mile-range missile will be able to hit targets in parts of the western United States.
According to a report released last month by a special House panel investigating Chinese espionage, the DF-31 is likely to be the first missile in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) arsenal to incorporate stolen U.S. warhead design technology, including either the advanced W-88 warhead, or the older W-70 warhead used on short-range Lance missiles.
"The DF-31 ICBM and the PRC's other new generation mobile ICBMs will require smaller, more compact warheads," said the report by a committee headed by Rep. Christopher Cox, California Republican. "The stolen U.S. information on the W-70 or W-88 Trident D-5 will be useful for this purpose." The D-5 is the most advanced U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The report said the DF-31 could be ready for operational deployment by 2002 if tests are successful. It said the DF-31, one of three new mobile ICBMs the Chinese are developing, could be tested this year....
revelation with how CBS News assured us there's nothing to worry about.
Back on the May 27 CBS Evening News reporter Eric Engberg dismissed the
Cox Report as full of exaggerated fears:
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