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Monica and George Are Hot, Not Juanita

Despite Continuing Developments, Networks Stick to Ignoring the Juanita Broaddrick Cloud

As the networks compete to promote multi-million-dollar book deals by Monica Lewinsky and George Stephanopoulos, a lady who sought no book deal - Juanita Broaddrick - is still being ignored by the networks. ABC's Nightline has done nothing, and World News Tonight hasn't aired a full story. CBS Evening News did one story, CBS This Morning nothing. NBC Nightly News has never shown it s own network's exclusive Broaddrick interview, but they did air exclusive footage of NBC's interview with Monica Lewinsky's father and stepmother. NPR and PBS haven't gone beyond one story. It's not like they haven't had angles to consider:

February 25: New liberal MSNBC Equal Time co-host Cynthia Alksne declared: "I've been a supporter. This is hard for me, but we're at rape. This is over the line for me and I think women everywhere deserve a better answer than a global denial out of David Kendall. I think they deserve the President of the United States to tell them what happened. Why am I, why is that unfair?" Soon after, MSNBC said she'd been "relieved of her duties" (while she remains an MSNBC legal analyst) and claimed it had nothing to do with her stand. The networks didn't wonder otherwise.

February 26: Vice President Gore held a White House event on domestic violence. He proclaimed: "Physical brutality at the hands of a partner or spouse is not simply love gone wrong, or someone needing to blow off steam at the end of the day. It is criminal assault, pure and simple. We don't do anybody any favors, least of all the abusers, when we ignore it." Associated Press reporter Sonya Ross reported it without any Broaddrick mention. On ABC's Good Morning America, anchor Antonio Mora blandly previewed: "And Vice President Gore announces $223 million in grants to communities to fight domestic violence." U.S. News writer Michael Barone did mention the event in passing on CNN's Inside Politics that day. Also on that day, Sen. James Jeffords told a radio audience how Clinton's behavior with Broaddrick was "a private matter," but he later apologized. TV coverage? Zero.

March 4: Hillary Clinton declared in a speech at the United Nations: "It is no longer acceptable to say that the abuse and mistreatment of women is cultural. It should be called what it is - criminal." AP and UPI wire stories did not include the quote, and The New York Times carried it, but made no reference to Broaddrick. TV coverage? Zero.

That morning, Washington Post reporter John Harris revealed HHS Secretary Donna Shalala said she hasn't decided whether Clinton raped Broaddrick, and didn't need to to do her job. TV stories? Zero.

March 7: Linda Tripp appeared on ABC's This Week, and cleared up questions about a taped conversation with Lewinsky referring to a 158-minute Clinton phone call to "Juanita." Tim O'Brien gave the first World News Tonight mention in summarizing Tripp's answer: "Tripp said that was a different Juanita. Tripp said it is not Juanita Broaddrick, who recently accused the President of having raped her 20 years ago....So who is the new Juanita? Perhaps one more tantalizing breath in a scandal many had hoped would breathe its last." The only other coverage was a Tripp clip and follow-up question from Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Late Edition.

March 8: Broaddrick's son Kevin Hickey appeared on CNN's Larry King Live, and CNN's Jeff Greenfield was amazed that ex-Clinton aides Dee Dee Myers and David Gergen wouldn't defend Clinton and said he should address the charge. TV coverage? Zero, not even on CNN's Inside Politics or The World Today the next day. - Tim Graham