Huang Skipped; NBC's "Paternal" Castro; Bradley: Diane Sawyer's Boyfriend
2) NBC's gift to Fidel Castro: A story delivering his spin about how whether Elian Gonzalez can "readjust to life" in Cuba is his chief concern. Andrea Mitchell warned Castro the boy might be "seduced" Disney World. As for Castro, Mitchell found him "old-fashioned, courtly -- even paternal." A nice grandpa.
4) Diane Sawyer, former Nixon aide and....Bill Bradley girlfriend. The Washington Post revealed Sawyer once dated Bradley and was so serious she spent a Christmas with Bradley's family in Missouri. But she failed to reveal his hidden history as an evangelist.
6) Geraldo on prosecution of Linda Tripp: "It sickens me now, where suddenly people on the right side of the aisle discover compassion in the law. Where the hell was that compassion when our President was under assault?!"
John Huang, the former DNC fundraiser and Commerce Department trade official who made suspicious visits to the Washington office of James Riady's Lippo Group and arranged payments from Riady to Web Hubbell, provided his first public testimony Wednesday, but the networks yawned. Only FNC offered a full report on an evening show with CBS giving it 32 seconds and CNN allocating a mere 27 seconds.
Huang testified for much of the afternoon before the House Government Reform Committee which granted him immunity for anything he said. Instead of mentioning this development, ABC's World News Tonight ran full pieces on the rising divorce rate in the South, concerns about whether the stock market can sustain its growth and ended with Sam Donaldson on a horse relating his participation in a New Mexico cattle drive. NBC Nightly News looked at alternative medicine for women and, as detailed in item #2 below, relayed Castro's spin on the Elian Gonzalez case.
On the December 15
CBS Evening News Dan Rather used his 32-second item to stress Huang's
defense of Clinton and Gore and denouncement of Republicans:
Politics ran a full story in that 5pm ET hour, but the prime time The
World Today offered only this 27-second item read by anchor Wolf Blitzer
just after a story about a hearing which featured an Olympic official:
Both FNC's 6pm ET
Special Report with Brit Hume and 7pm ET Fox Report newscast featured
David Shuster's full report on the day's testimony. Shuster reminded
viewers of the Buddhist Temple event and James Riady's personal contact
with Bill Clinton. After noting how Huang denied being a spy and charged
lawmakers with trying to demonize Asians, Shuster noted how committee
Chairman Dan Burton "asked Huang about a 1996 fundraiser put together
for Vice President Gore at a Buddhist Temple in California. Impoverished
nuns gave tens of thousands of dollars."
Shuster played an
exchange between ranking Democrat Henry Waxman and Huang about how neither
Clinton or Gore did anything illegal, before he concluded:
But broadcast network producers were clearly not intrigued, as they never have been by this story.
Huang's testimony will continue Thursday morning and should be carried live at 10am ET by C-SPAN.
What concerns Fidel Castro the most when it comes to Elian Gonzalez, the six-year-old Cuba wants returned who is now in Florida after his mother died while fleeing with him from Cuba? Whether child psychiatrists think he could safely "readjust to life" in Cuba, NBC's Andrea Mitchell seriously suggested in an "exclusive" interview with Castro aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News.
Mitchell's story sounded more like a promotional spot for Castro as caring grandpa and protector of a nation than a report from a supposedly hard-edged reporter. Mitchell worried that the boy might want to stay in the United States if he's "seduced by all of these toys and trips to Disney World."
"What's astounding is how much Castro is personally micro-managing the Elian case. He's not just the country's head of state, he's the CEO," oozed an awed Mitchell after her 2am dinner with the dictator she described as "old-fashioned, courtly -- even paternal."
Here's a nearly
complete transcript of Mitchell's eager delivery of Castro's spin:
Yeah, that's his chief concern.
Viewers then heard
Castro via a translator: "Why do they want to delay the return of the
child? To be able to change the child's mentality? To destroy his
Not a bad idea.
by her hours with Fidel, Mitchell gushed:
But a nice one, apparently, most concerned about a child's welfare.
"I don't accept that we're the only country where there's no free
The "problem" was we couldn't just "dismiss" William F. Buckley Jr. as we did with most conservatives "as a crank or a right-wing nut." Ted Koppel's reflection of common contempt for conservatism slipped through in his admiration for Buckley on Tuesday's show about Buckley taping the last edition of Firing Line after 33 years.
Jessica Anderson noticed Koppel's slip as he praised Buckley in the
opening of the December 14 Nightline:
Later, CBS's Mike
Wallace made clear that he was no conservative when Buckley rose in
prominence, referring to conservatives as "them" in a soundbite
Diane Sawyer once Bill Bradley's girlfriend? As if to prove she can't be guilty of liberal bias, liberals love to remind people how Diane Sawyer once worked for Richard Nixon, but now the Washington Post has revealed a bit of background information ABC didn't bother telling viewers when she interviewed Bradley on Tuesday's Good Morning America: She and Bradley once dated. They were so serious that she spent one Christmas with Bradley's family.
During the interview Sawyer failed to raise a part of Bradley's history that he's trying to hide but that she surely had firsthand knowledge of from their dating: In the 1960s Bradley was part of the "Religious Right," a born again evangelist who tried to convert people to believe in Christ.
In a December 15 "Reliable Sources" item the Washington Post's Lloyd Grove and Beth Berselli disclosed:
ABC News star Diane Sawyer and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley managed to get through the entire half-hour of yesterday's "Good Morning America" Times Square Town Meeting without mentioning that they once seriously dated each other. Sawyer, who questioned her former boyfriend on health care and religion, was attending Wellesley and Bradley was playing basketball at Princeton when they began seeing each other in the mid-1960s.
According to The Post's Barton Gellman and Dale Russakoff, their romance was so strong that Sawyer and her parents spent Christmas 1966 with Bradley's family in Missouri and their friends speculated that they might marry. During a trip to Russia on his Rhodes scholarship, Bradley bought her a fur hat (which we hear Sawyer didn't much like).
Today neither wants to discuss their old romance, and ABC News spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told us it wasn't necessary to inform viewers about it: "We believe you get a pass on a college romance."
I bet we'd have known this bit of bio info long ago if she had dated a conservative candidate.
On the December 14 GMA Bradley declared: "I think on religion, I think that that is an extremely private matter for people, and you know, different politicians have handled it different ways, but from my standpoint, I'd prefer to draw that line and say, no."
Ex-girlfriend Sawyer inquired: "Last night on the Republican debates, a number of the candidates said that Jesus Christ was the philosopher who had most influenced them. What do you think about their saying that, then, and whom would you choose?...But does it, listening to them do it, does it make you uncomfortable? Do you think it's wrong?"
Bradley begged off again and, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson reported, she failed to use the opportunity to tell viewers of Bradley's history of religious activism, a subject addressed the next morning in a Washington Post profile of Bradley. Reporters Barton Gellman and Dale Russakoff reviewed his activities in the 1960s and early 1970s on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Citing the notes of one minister, the reporters quoted Bradley as telling him in 1964: "I'd give anything to know I had helped just one person commit his life to Jesus Christ."
But on this aspect of Bradley's life the Washington Post was playing catch-up with The American Spectator. In its December issue, out a few weeks ago, Investor's Business Daily Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry uncovered Bradley's largely unknown religious activities during his pre-political years.
Here's an excerpt of Sperry's American Spectator piece:
Unborn Again Bill Bradley
"Show me the way not to fortune and fame," starts one of Bill Bradley's favorite poems. "Not how to win laurels and praise for my name, but the way to know the great story that Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory."
At least that was a favorite of his in 1968, when the bible-thumping (that's right) pro hoopster was bringing other jocks to Jesus. It's not clear if Bradley the politician -- pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and running left of Al Gore in their White House race--can still recite the poem.
But as a 25-year-old New York Knick, Bradley lived by it. "These words seem to clearly express the real choice each of us must make in life: To follow the ways of the world--the way of fortune and fame and praise -- or the way of God revealed through Jesus Christ," he said.
"I've made my choice," Bradley added. "I love Jesus Christ and I try to serve Him to the best of my ability."
You won't hear Bradley profess such faith on the hustings in New York or California. His speeches rarely find room for the word "God," let alone exhortations. If you ask operatives in Bradley's camp about his religious views, they'll point you to Time Present, Time Past, the memoir he penned in 1996, as he was leaving the Senate. Specifically, chapter 18. "The best guide to his views on this subject are in that chapter," said campaign spokesman Eric Hauser. "That's going to be your most substantial grounds."
But not necessarily the most candid, it turns out.
Bradley spends much of the chapter disavowing what he calls the narrow-minded religious beliefs of his youth and assuring readers -- and future presidential voters -- that he's all the wiser now.
Except Bradley's Christian faith wasn't youthful fancy. Left out of his book are at least two occasions in which Bradley, as a pro basketball player in his mid-20's, "witnessed" to other athletes in powerful and passionate testimony about his deep, unswerving faith in Jesus Christ. Omitting such memorable personal experiences in an autobiography is disturbing enough. But Bradley appears to have also resorted to a bit of revisionism. Dates just don't line up.
He claims to have started to outgrow the beliefs of his youth in 1964, yet four years later he was still talking about the importance of the "application of the pure gospel in the life of every person," according to one published testimony. In 1968, he also said he was itching to share his faith in Christ with his New York teammates. In another longer testimony that year, he pours his heart out for Christ.
Of course, few people know this....
A few more would have learned if Sawyer acted more like a reporter and less like a protective ex-girlfriend.
To read the entire article, go to:
Tom Brokaw kept hitting from the left even after the debate ended, a debate which not even his own network touched the next night. As noted in the December 14 CyberAlert, the December 2 and 6 Republican debates generated no broadcast evening show stories until an ABC piece on December 12. The December 13 Republican clash on MSNBC earned a piece on the December 14 CBS Evening News, but not a word or ABC's World News Tonight, nor even on the NBC Nightly News.
The December 14 CyberAlert also detailed how debate co-moderator Tom Brokaw pressed the Republicans from the left during the debate, a trend MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed continued after the debate ended. Colleague Brian Williams joined in the liberal spin, referring to how Gary Bauer represents the "far right."
Just after the
debate ended, Brokaw talked live on MSNBC with Bauer, asking him:
"Mr. Bauer, you did go right after Governor Bush as to whether or not
he would have as a vice presidential candidate someone who is pro-life. Do
you think that will become ultimately for the Republican Party a cutting
edge issue come the summer of the year 2000?"
Brokaw did at least later challenge John McCain with a conservative argument against his campaign finance "reform."
In a question to
Tim Russert, Brian Williams applied some extremist labeling to one GOP
The next morning
on Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noted, Russert agreed that Bush
must NBC "reassure American women that he is open minded to the issue
of abortion," telling Matt Lauer:
Complaints about prosecuting the whistle-blowing Linda Tripp for violating an unusual and stupid state law against taping your own phone calls, a law never really enforced, sent Geraldo Rivera into an apoplectic rage Tuesday night over how Bill Clinton was so selectively abused.
Geoffrey Dickens had to type fast to keep up with Rivera's rant on CNBC's
recalled how Clinton was "ambushed" by Starr and claimed the
President was treated worse than a dog:
I wouldn't make a dog watch Geraldo Rivera, but at the MRC humans can't avoid him. -- Brent Baker 
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