February 25, 1997 - 1:00am
Conservative Dr. K; CBS on Guns; ABC's Liberal Director1. On CBS Henry Kissinger is labeled a "conservative."
2. A Newsweek reporter says Clinton scandal underplayed; ABC catches up with NBC; but revelations still ignored.
6. A couple of weeks ago CBS and CNN reported an affair between Susan McDougal and Bill Clinton. The American Spectator had the story six months ago.
How far left must you be to consider Henry Kissinger a conservative?
Liberal enough to be a New York Times reporter turned columnist, such as
Tom Friedman. On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday Friedman asked Kissinger:
That's six conservative labels in one question. And if Kissinger is so conservative, why has he been "an object" of attack from conservatives?
2) At least one reporter has decided that a Clinton fundraising scandal development was underplayed. Citing a Sunday Washington Post story run inside the paper, Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow told the panelists on the February 23 show:
thing that's happened is the Democratic National Committee, Don Fowler the
former chairman says, well of course we were trying to get people in
contact with administration officials, with cabinet members and so on.
They give us money, that's what they pay us for. That seems to me to be an
admission that this administration was on sale."
The Sunday night CBS Evening News was joined in progress in Washington, but neither NBC Nightly News or the ABC's World News Sunday reported anything about the Post story.
Four days after NBC first broke the story and three days after Clinton promised to investigate the situation, ABC did, however on Sunday, finally air a story on the White House employing DNC-paid staffers. Reporter Carla Davis played soundbites from new DNC chief Roy Romer's appearance on This Week in which he said the practice should end. Davis then noted: "This comes after days of non-stop criticism over the Clinton administration's use of DNC-paid workers." Days of criticism ABC viewers didn't hear a peep about.
(February 24) CBS didn't utter a syllable on fundraising, but both ABC and
NBC aired full stories about the access bought by Johnny Chung, a matter
detailed in Saturday's New York Times. On NBC Nightly News Lisa Myers
ABC's Linda Douglass told World News Tonight viewers about the "potentially explosive allegation" that Chung, who donated $366,000 to the Democrats over four years, gave money to get to watch the radio address.
Before you get too excited about the networks finally picking up on some newspaper stories, note that the broadcast networks have yet to mention a Wall Street Journal story from last week which detailed how a Miami businessman who gave $800,000 got access to high-level officials in order to try to influence U.S. policy toward Paraguay. The February 24 USA Today carried a report on how congressional investigators are exploring the matter.
Monday night CBS turned the Empire State Building shooting into an
opportunity for some pro-gun control polemics. Referring to gunman Ali Abu
Kamal, Dan Rather announced:
Like a pro-gun control group needs to be "prompted" to advocate gun control.
Here's how Rather introduced an interview segment with New York's Mayor: "A short time ago I spoke to the Mayor of New York, and former Justice Department official, Rudolph Giuliani about this incident and the calls it has sparked for tougher handgun control laws."
CBS failed to provide an anti-gun control soundbite or even explain the applicable laws. CNN reported Monday night that federal law proscribes gun purchases by aliens until they've been in the country for three months. If that's so, maybe the problem is not that there aren't enough laws, but that the ones in place aren't being enforced or were ignored by a particular gun seller.
When today's (February 25) annual meeting of the Walt Disney Company
convenes in Anaheim, The Washington Post reported February 22, "a
group of 22 institutional pension funds that hold Disney stock plans to
protest" the $771 million compensation package that Disney CEO
Michael Eisner could reap over the next ten years. "They intend to
withhold their votes for the five management-backed nominees to Disney's
board." (Given their small ownership they will fail, but are making a
symbolic statement about executive pay.)
Around the country some major chains face opposition when they try to open
new stores as local residents claim they will destroy the community spirit
or ruin a local downtown. Opponents of Wal-Mart, for instance, have
generated quite a bit of news coverage.
What a difference a magazine makes. Forward a charge about Clinton's sex
life and it's ignored -- if it appears in a conservative magazine. But
when a liberal magazine makes the same charge, it's news. A couple of
weeks ago The New Yorker printed a piece by James Stewart recounting his
interviews with James and Susan McDougal of Whitewater fame. Jim McDougal
claimed to have overheard a suggestive phone conversation between Susan
McDougal and Bill Clinton in 1982 which convinced him that they were
having an affair. Stewart reported the charge and Susan McDougal's denial.
As American Spectator Managing Editor Wlady Pleszczynski pointed out to me, his magazine had the story six months ago. In a profile of Betsy Wright in the August 1996 issue, Rebecca Borders cited two sources: former trooper L.D. Brown and former state auditor Julia Hughes Jones.
More evidence of how the Washington media really work. Unlike the White House's fanciful conspiracy theory of an all-powerful right-wing media network, the mainstream press ignore revelations in conservative publications until they are blessed by appearing in a "respectable" outlet.
-- Brent Baker