Freeh Named Clinton & Gore, But ABC & CNN Ignored; Top 10 Clinton Nicknames
At a House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearing on Tuesday Chairman Dan Burton asked FBI Director Louis Freeh, regarding his contention that an independent counsel should be appointed for campaign finance because credible charges have been raised about covered persons, "Does that include the President and the Vice President?" Freeh replied: "Yes sir."
Big news, the FBI
Director saying Clinton and Gore are personally being investigated for
law-breaking? Not to ABC or CNN which ignored the exchange Tuesday night.
NBC played it deep in their story. Only CBS and FNC made it the lead of
their reports. Instead, ABC and CNN focused on the dispute between Burton
and Attorney General Reno over his subpoena of the memos written by Freeh
and Charles LaBella, the man until recently in charge of the campaign
finance probe, recommending the appointment of an independent counsel.
ABC, CBS and NBC led with the stock market plunge. FNC went first with the switched at birth story and Monicagate topped CNN. Here's how they each handled Reno, Burton and the House hearings on the Tuesday, August 4 evening shows:
how Burton wants Reno held in contempt, noting that "Democrats
howled" at the idea. Referring to Freeh and LaBella, here's as
close as Douglass came to Freeh's suggestion that Clinton and Gore are
being looked at: "They had told Reno that they had found evidence of
potential crimes by high White House officials and they told Congress that
Jones went on to note that Freeh and LaBella urged Burton to not demand the release of their memos and showed a soundbite of Reno from her press conference.
Reporter Pierre Thomas asserted that the hearings set the stage for a showdown over the memos. Thomas showed a clip of Reno before noting that Democrats accused Burton of "trying to bully" Reno. Viewers saw a soundbite from Congressman Henry Waxman and then Thomas got to the IC issue: "And Freeh suggested the investigation could touch key Democrats and senior White House officials. He said Reno may have a conflict of interest because some of the suspects have ties to the President and Vice President."
Williams noted that LaBella agreed, as he had in a memo, and then ran soundbites from Burton and Reno about their subpoena dispute.
During the day Tuesday MSNBC skipped the hearings, running a couple of updates from Pete Williams. When Freeh made his opening statement at 11:52am ET CNN and FNC showed it, but MSNBC viewers were treated to an interview about the "switched at birth" case. After ignoring the hearing all day, at 2:30pm MSNBC did go live to cover Reno's press conference in which she denounced Burton.
CNN offered live coverage of the hearing from 11:30am ET to about 12:10pm ET and also showed Reno's press conference at 2:30pm ET.
FNC provided the most live coverage with analysis throughout the day from Carl Cameron. FNC started at about 10:10am ET and stuck with it, interrupted only by ad breaks and news updates, through to about 11:20am ET when anchor David Asman got reaction from Eleanor Clift and Deborah Orin. FNC re-joined the hearing at 11:30am ET and stuck with it for over an hour. They showed a bit more at 12:50 and 1:30pm before, like CNN and MSNBC, going to the switched at birth press conference at 2pm and Reno at 2:30pm ET.
ABC and NBC held Monicagate Tuesday night to a few seconds on how Chief Justice Rehnquist rejected Clinton's appeal on attorney-client privilege, so special counsel Lanny Breuer was forced to appear, and that the FBI test results on the dress have not been released. Here's how CBS, CNN and FNC handled the latest on the Monica front:
-- CBS Evening
News. Dan Rather again forwarded the White House spin on how Starr is
probing Clinton's "personal life." Rather declared:
Scott Pelley revealed that Lewinsky turned over a photo, explaining: "Sources say the still photo carries a personal inscription that Lewinsky claims is written by Mr. Clinton. The inscription is said to be very personal."
Up next, Bob Schieffer previewed a Wednesday meeting between congressional Democrats and Clinton. Schieffer asserted that Democrats are "increasingly nervous" about impact of Lewinsky no matter what they say publicly.
-- CNN's The World Today opened with Bob Franken on the Lindsey decision and appearance by Lanny Breuer. Second, from the White House Wolf Blitzer reported that "the President goes about business as usual, but behind closed doors, he's spending several hours each day huddling with his private attorney, David Kendall, preparing for his August 17th grand jury testimony..."
Karl reviewed Starr's four years as independent counsel. Here's how
co-anchor Jim Moret introduced the lengthy piece: "The Ken Starr
investigation turns four this week. The original probe into an Arkansas
land deal has led to sometimes lurid allegations about sex and a scheduled
presidential appearance before the grand jury. CNN's Jonathan Karl looks
at Starr's wins, his losses and what lies ahead."
Karl, CNN played this clip from Bill Ginsburg, in a Los Angeles speech,
disparaging Ken Starr:
-- FNC's Fox Report. Jim Angle provided a full report on the Lindsey decision and the appearance of Lanny Breuer. Then David Shuster ran through what happened at the courthouse with speculation as to what Breuer was asked about and testimony from Secret Service agents.
From the August 4 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Clinton Nicknames or Ben and Jerry Flavors." Copyright 1998 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10) Slick Willie
Pretty good from #9 to #2 but it kind of petered out at the end. -- Brent Baker 
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