CyberAlert -- 09/21/1998 -- GOP Abused Power
GOP Abused Power, Not Clinton; Afraid of Video But There's Sex in Prime Time
>>> NBC Too, Clinton at UN & Note to Those Without Cable. Just like ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News, as reported in the September 19 CyberAlert, NBC Nightly News will expand to one hour on Monday night. Many affiliates will run the shows at their usual time, but any which normally run them at any time later than 6:30pm ET may start them a half hour earlier than usual.....For those not interested in the tapes, at 10:45am ET CNN's Headline News channel will carry President Clinton's address to the United Nations.....And for those in the Washington, DC area without cable television, WJLA-TV will dump ABC and run the Clinton video live as it's fed from the Rayburn HOB. <<<
Judges, lawyers, the House Judiciary Committee and prosecutors, meaning Kenneth Starr, have damaged the institution of the presidency, but not Bill Clinton. So argued the sole guest expert anchor Brian Williams interviewed on Saturday's NBC Nightly News. American University professor Allan Lichtman contended that Clinton had been dragged through the muck, as if he didn't steer the White House there in the first place.
On the September 19 show, Brian Williams asked Lichtman about the "damage thus far to the institution of the presidency."
Of course, none of those precedents would have occurred if Clinton did not appeal every step of the way in his effort to cover up his lie.
posed the second of his two questions, in the form of an observation:
"And all of this amid promises that it would be bi-partisan or
Why bother having a republican form of government with constitutional duties assigned to each branch? Let's just hire Gallup and follow the results.
Al Hunt declared that Tom DeLay and the House Republican leadership committed "a flagrant abuse of power," but Hunt's not convinced that Bill Clinton abused his power as Kenneth Starr concluded. Compare the assessments issued by the Wall Street Journal's Executive Washington Editor on two successive editions of CNN's Capital Gang.
First, in date
order, Hunt on September 12 as he reacted to Starr's report:
Second, Hunt this
past Saturday, September 19, on Tom DeLay asking the FBI to investigate
the White House role in pushing sexual affair stories about Dan Burton,
Helen Chenoweth and Henry Hyde:
Catching up on a couple of items from last week: Keith Olbermann took a shot at the timing of Newt Gingrich's divorce and Bob Schieffer was less than impressed with the Starr report, concluding: "There's not much there."
-- On the September 16 Big Show with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC the host set up the show on Clinton being sidetracked by the Lewinsky scandal by asking: "Is the effort to keep him from doing his constitutional necessity or just the first step toward turning this country into the northern most banana republic?"
Later, in a remark caught by the MRC's Tim Graham, Olbermann picked up on Newt Gingrich labeling Clinton a misogynist, and ruminated: "Can the Speaker of the House claim any moral high ground when today he says the President is a man who hates women but he himself divorced his first wife while she was undergoing treatments for cancer?"
Network anchors just can't bring themselves to utter the phrase "partial birth abortion." Witness how the ABC and CBS anchors delivered news Friday night, September 18, about a vote in the Senate.
On ABC's World News Tonight, Peter Jennings intoned: "On Capitol Hill today the Senate failed to overturn President Clinton's veto of a bill banning some late term abortions. Supporters of the bill fell three votes short."
Dan Rather announced on the CBS Evening News just after an item on speakers at a Christian Coalition convention denouncing Clinton: "As the Christian Coalition was meeting Republicans in the U.S. Senate were voting, trying again to deliver on one of the group's top agenda items: overriding President Clinton's veto of a ban on a type of late term abortion. The vote to override the President's veto failed by three votes."
Erections, using cigars to simulate oral sex and the pleasures and dangers of a large penis. Material unsuitable for children that will be discussed in Clinton's video? No, it's what already airs on the networks during the "family hour," the first hour of prime time. Yet the network news divisions are suddenly concerned with the impact the video and other documents may have on children.
On Sunday's Late
Edition on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer blamed Republicans for irresponsibly
exposing children to sexual material, asking House Republican Conference
Chairman John Boehner:
Of course, no one is forcing the networks to run the video live during the day.
But the networks already deliver sexually-oriented material in the family hour, as demonstrated by the MRC's Tim Graham in a Media Reality Check fax report released last week: "Networks Wary of 'Salacious Language' on Monicagate Air It Nightly in Prime Time Sitcoms: The Newest 'Family Values' Hypocrites."
Now, the rest of
the report, in full:
USA Today reported Thursday that ABC, CBS, and NBC will air excerpts of Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony and "probably bleep out salacious language." CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said: "This is an instance where it may not be best to be first."
But are the networks really worried about children sneaking upstairs to watch the news? If the networks were so concerned about salacious material on TV, why don't they air a segment about their own sitcoms? MRC entertainment analysts Tom Johnson and Melissa Caldwell provided many examples, including:
-- CBS's The Nanny: In one show, the title character, Fran, and two other women go to a cigar bar. One woman says: "Look at those men over there staring at us smoke. It's not very feminine. I wonder why it turns them on so much?" The women put cigars in their mouths and stare back at the men, clearly suggestive of oral sex. Another Clintonesque metaphor came in a show when Fran referred to a female cousin who'd "ground her teeth down to the gums...her [husband] has never been happier."
-- ABC's Spin City: One of Michael J. Fox's female underlings tells her boyfriend on the phone: "It was just a run-of-the-mill orgasm. I didn't mean to scare you." When she notices Fox's character nearby, she claims it's her mother on the phone. Fox jokes: "I'll let you get back to your mom before she loses her erection."
-- Fox's Getting Personal: Milo is slow-dancing with a woman who thinks he's gay. She asks, "What is that?" He replies "a pack of Certs," to which she soon replies: "Those Certs just turned into a can of Pringles."
-- ABC's The Drew Carey Show: Mimi says, "I guess you'd better call your four girlfriends and a thumb and tell them you're going to be late." Drew replies: "Since you're staying, maybe my four girlfriends and a thumb can go out to dinner with 'Pleasure Me Pete.'"
-- NBC's Friends: Joey emerges from the bedroom, naked except for a dartboard he's holding over his crotch, and tells his roommate he and his girlfriend "aren't exactly gonna be sleeping," but asks him to turn down the TV.
-- Fox's Living in Captivity: In the show's debut last Friday, a couple's baby is 10 days overdue, and a neighbor suggests the two have sex to hasten the arrival. The husband begs off, telling his wife he's afraid he might "dent" the baby's head. She barks, "I don't care if you poke his eyes out."
The latest study by the Parents Television Council found the networks averaged more than two sexual references an hour in the first hour of prime time, or "family hour," with ABC leading with almost 3.5 per hour. All the shows cited here aired in the "family hour," except The Drew Carey Show. (Spin City is moving to a later slot this year.)
The networks don't really have a problem with children being exposed to salacious materials, or these programs wouldn't air these lines. They don't mind TV characters acting like horny oafs, trading lines about their sex organs and fantasies. They just don't want to expose America to a President who resembles them.
END of reprint
From the September 18 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Clinton Campaign Slogans If He Were To Run Again." Copyright 1998 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "The Other Candidates Are Close,
But No Cigar"
And, from the Late Show Web Page, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it into the Top Ten."
-- "Because I'm Not Yet Done
Destroying The Moral Fabric Of Our Nation"
I especially liked #4. If there's any particularly noteworthy media reaction/commentary Monday morning or afternoon I'll send a second CyberAlert later today. Otherwise, expect another edition in about 24 hours. -- Brent Baker
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