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Whitewater: The Story Reporters Loved to Hate

Table of Contents:

Some significant stories the networks barely or never covered:

On February 29 and again on March 7, Senate Democrats blocked votes extending the tenure of the Senate Whitewater Committee. The Democrats held up further hearings until agreeing to a deal on April 18. One reporter­based story on ABC's World News Tonight (and anchor briefs on ABC's Good Morning America and CNN) were the only coverage of the Democratic filibuster until the hearings resumed April 24.

On March 15, a federal appeals court removed Judge Henry Woods from a related case against Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and reinstated four fraud counts struck down by Woods, finding the judge was too close to the Clintons. Despite several network stories and an entire Nightline on the credibility of independent counsel Kenneth Starr, the networks never covered the Woods story.

On March 24, an ABC News/Washington Post poll announced 52 percent of respondents believed the First Lady was not telling the truth about Whitewater and 49 percent said they believe she acted illegally. While the Post published the poll, buried on page A16, ABC never reported it.

When word leaked on April 29 that the FBI found Hillary Clinton's fingerprints on the long­missing Rose Law Firm documents discovered in the White House, it drew only four anchor­read briefs. Second, there's a good reason why Whitewater has received so little coverage: Many reporters don't think it's worth covering or that it's been over covered.