60 Minutes Blames GOP for Loutchansky; Nets Ignore Judges's Pro- Starr Ruling
1) 60 Minutes highlighted a Russian Mob figure invited to meet Clinton at a fundraiser, but Mike Wallace blamed conservatives who "have consistently torpedoed efforts in the Senate to pass any meaningful campaign reform."
>>> What were the most
outrageously biased quotes of 1998? You be the judge. This year
we're producing a special Web edition of the Best Notable Quotables of
1998: The Eleventh Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting -- and
you can help pick the winners. Just go to our home page to cast your
ballot. And just for sharing your assessments, you'll get a free
"Don't Believe the Liberal Media" magnet. We're still
producing the printed edition selected by our regular panel of judges, but
your vote will decide which quotes make it into the special Web edition.
A potshot at conservatives from 60 Minutes on campaign finance reform.
Despite how the
Democratic fundraisers ignored all the red flags and invited the unsavory
man, representative of how they violated many of the current fundraising
rules and norms, how did Wallace conclude his piece? By blaming
Republicans! Wallace intoned:
Every network but FNC led Friday night December 4 with stories contrasting the dropping unemployment rate with the recent layoff announcements. CNN and MSNBC picked up on a Los Angeles Times story on how Henry Hyde is a hypocrite for condemning lying now while he excused it in Oliver North's case. CNN at least let North explain how the two cases are different, but both stories focused on just Hyde while the same point in reverse could be made about any number of Democrats.
-- CNN's The
World Today anchor Joie Chen noted how Hyde's words are "coming
back to haunt him." CNN's Frank Sesno played a lengthy clip from
Hyde in 1987 on he Iran-Contra committee:
Sesno asked: "Oliver North and Bill Clinton. Are the cases that different? Have the rules changed? Or is Henry Hyde a hypocrite? Today's Los Angeles Times raises that question in an article headlined 'Hyde's View On Lying Is Back Haunting Him.' Congressman Hyde would not comment on the story for CNN, but Oliver North, the central character in those hearings 11 years ago, now a radio talk show host, says there's no comparison and no hypocrisy."
North asserted: "Henry Hyde is commenting on the fact that the Reagan administration was accused of the following things: of not revealing everything that they were doing to save the lives of Americans being tortured to death in dungeons in Beirut, and trying to keep a freedom fighter army alive in Central America that the Congress had sent into combat. Now 1998. Fast-forward 11 years: Henry Hyde is commenting on the fact that the chief executive officer of the United States of America, the President, has raised his right hand, promised to take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and then lied after he raised his hand -- a major difference."
Back on August 7 when a federal appeals court ruled against Starr's office and allowed Judge Norma Holloway Johnson to proceed with an investigation of whether the independent counsel's office illegally leaked information, every network ran a story that evening. Fast forward to last Friday, December 4. A New York Times headline announced: "Judge Finds Starr's Aides Did Not Abuse Lewinsky." Network coverage: Zilch Friday morning and evening on the broadcast networks and CNN. Not even CNN's Inside Politics mentioned the revelation of the previously sealed ruling which invalidated one of the Clintonista's favorite anti-Starr angles. While FNC's Fox Report also ignored the news, FNC ran a full story by Rita Cosby on its 6pm ET Special Report with Brit Hume hosted by Tony Snow. That one FNC piece is the totality of television coverage I've seen.
On Friday Don Van Natta Jr. of the New York Times reported what others papers picked up on Saturday, but not even that widespread print coverage generated a syllable on the weekend broadcast network shows. Here's an excerpt of Van Natta's December 4 piece:
Kenneth Starr's prosecutors did not forbid Monica Lewinsky to call her lawyer when they first confronted her at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Jan. 16, and in fact they gave her several opportunities to call anyone she chose, a federal district judge concluded in a finding unsealed this week.
Contrary to that finding, issued last April but kept sealed until now, President Clinton's lawyers and House Democrats have argued that prosecutors mistreated Ms. Lewinsky by repeatedly refusing her the opportunity to call her lawyer, Francis Carter. They maintain that the incident illustrates Starr's overzealousness, perhaps even misconduct.
The ruling, by Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, part of a ream of documents ordered released this week by a federal appeals court, sheds further light on the controversial episode at the Ritz-Carlton, which occurred five days before the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal became public.
The independent counsel's prosecutors approached Ms. Lewinsky there to try to win her cooperation in an investigation of whether President Clinton or others had lied under oath to cover up his affair with her. But Ms. Lewinsky's subsequent accusation that the prosecutors' efforts amounted to bullying led the White House and congressional Democrats to mine the incident for material they believed embarrassing to Starr.
On Wednesday, White House lawyers demanded of Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., who as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee heads the Clinton impeachment inquiry, that they be permitted to look at all decisions by Judge Johnson "addressing the question of whether Ms. Lewinsky was denied access to her counsel, Frank Carter, on Jan. 16."....
But in her decision, issued on April 28, Judge Johnson said lawyers and agents from Starr's office had not barred Ms. Lewinsky from calling her lawyer and had "acted within the ethical rules in questioning Ms. Lewinsky without her attorney present."....
Starr's spokesman, Charles Bakaly III, said: "This is an example where our prosecutors did not discuss rulings that would have helped us to respond to attacks against the office. We were prohibited from discussing it, because it was under seal, and we adhered to that."
Of course, if Starr's office did leak we'd have learned about this long ago.
Time magazine urged readers to act now to shut down the impeachment
process. Major media figures have often castigated radio talk show hosts
for urging listeners to call their Congressman to sway a vote on a
particular issue, but last week Time did just that. Before he abandoned
the MRC last week for the rough and tumble of Manhattan, media analyst
Clay Waters caught this plea from Time's Frank Pellegrini in a December
4 Time Daily news story.
Friday night Keith Olbermann hosted his last Big Show for MSNBC, but he didn't leave without taking one last opportunity to show his disgust with the Lewinsky scandal. His last words on MSNBC: "I will say only this: If you need me I'll be hiding in sports. Wake me when it's over, if it's over."
Olbermann, who will join Fox Sports next week, may have displayed his annoyance and lack of interest in the Lewinsky scandal, and even uttered more liberal than conservative comments over his 14 months (recall his comparing Starr to a Nazi), but he was not the dedicated leftist that his replacement is, at least judging by some candid comments the new guy made a few years ago.
Monday night the 8pm ET/PT hours on MSNBC become "Hockenberry," a show hosted by John Hockenberry, once of NPR. The MRC's Tim Graham reminded me of Hockenberry's comments made during a March 2, 1995 session on America Online when he was with ABC News:
-- "I think that capitalism is inherently amoral and it is folly to expect that a system run on greed will be able to adopt some virtuous precepts to prevent the violations of human rights."
-- On Clinton's re-election chances: "Faced with a choice of a crowd-pleasing fanatic trying to look like a Republican and about a hundred real Repubs it looks tough to me."
-- On whether the public is well informed: "I think American politics thrives on ignorance today. I think American policy works without a backup plan as long as people are so unrepentantly uninformed."
-- When asked if the Contract with America will work: "Yes. I'm moving to Switzerland."
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