CyberAlert -- 03/09/1999 -- "Wacko Right-Winger is Redundant"; Media Driving Broaddrick Story?

"Wacko Right-Winger is Redundant"; Media Driving Broaddrick Story?

1) Interviewing Juanita Broaddrick's son on Monday night CNN's Larry King made sure it was not "the wacko element, the far-right" which pressured her to come forward. In USA Today he charged: "The term wacko right-winger is redundant."

2) CBS jolted Joe DiMaggio, not mentioning his passing until the end of the CBS Evening News. All the others led with it and all aired full reports on the firing of the scientist suspected of passing top secret missile information to China.

3) Mario Cuomo would have made a "terrific" Supreme Court Justice, ABC's Sam Donaldson asserted on Sunday.

4) Why did the late Justice Blackmun become liberal? He "grew as he went along," replied Time magazine's Alain Sanders.

5) Despite a near-blackout of Broaddrick, Eleanor Clift insisted: "It's been the media who's been after this story, trying to get it out."

6) "The abuse and mistreatment of women" is "criminal," asserted Hillary Clinton, but the media yawned and ignored Broaddrick.

Correction #1: A March 8 CyberAlert item about CNBC's Diane Dimond defending Linda Tripp just before Jonathan Alter trashed her, noted: "That appreciative spirit toward Lewinsky was short-lived." That should have read: "That appreciative spirit toward Tripp..."

Correction #2, a non-substantive one, to a clarification: The March 8 CyberAlert clarification on the lack of network evening show coverage of Juanita Broaddrick offered the caveat that all of the broadcast network shows were bumped by sports in Washington on Sunday, February 28. While the NBA bumped NBC in the eastern and central time zones and golf killed ABC in at least Washington, the CBS Evening News did air in the east and Washington, DC, but had nothing on Broaddrick despite the fact that every Sunday interview show but CBS's Face the Nation took up her allegations that morning.


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Larry King, on wacko patrol. Interviewing Juanita Broaddrick's son on Monday night CNN's Larry King made sure it was not "the wacko element, the far-right" which pressured her to come forward. After all, in USA Today he charged: "The term wacko right-winger is redundant."

At one point guest Kevin Hickey, Broaddrick's son, observed what the MRC has documented: the media's lack of interest compared to how they jumped on Anita Hill's tale:
"I think the media's reaction to it has been very interesting. We had no problem with the Anita Hill allegations, the media covering that to a large extent. But it's like when we take it to a step further to rape the media has been very, very sensitive about it. Some people, some people in the media have gone very headstrong, straightforward with it. Other people have really laid off of it."

When Hickey explained on the March 8 Larry King Live how his mother decided to go public to correct inaccuracies in what others said happened to her, stories circulated as Starr probed her denials and the media asked questions, King jumped in:
"So it was not the, as has been termed, the wacko element? The far-right or those who are conspicuously anti-Clinton who were pressuring her?"
"Absolutely not," Hickey assured.

In Monday's "Larry King's People" column for USA Today the CNN host offered this less than tolerant assessment:
"The term wacko right-winger is redundant. For example, they're the only people who don't like being called compassionate. Someone remarked that many now defend the tobacco industry because its products kill people early, saving us dollars in having to care for aged people."

Of course, it's not that conservatives don't like being called compassionate it's that the term "compassionate conservative" implies all other conservatives lack compassion. On the smoking point, King may not like it but it's true.

It's the term "intelligent Larry King column" which is contradictory.

Before moving on, CNN should get some credit for Monday's topic choice since ABC has never pursued the story, CBS ran just one story and NBC has yet to mention Broaddrick on its own NBC Nightly News.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) The passing of Joe DiMaggio was considered the biggest story of the day by ABC, CNN, FNC, MSNBC and NBC Monday night as all led with it, but not CBS which made its look back at his life the last story on the CBS Evening News. CBS began with the firing of a Los Alamos scientist suspected of giving top secret missile data to China, a subject also earning full stories on ABC, FNC and NBC though only NBC relayed how "the administration says the leak occurred in the Reagan years."

Of the broadcast networks, only CBS mentioned Susan McDougal. CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather read this 16-second item which highlighted McDougal's attack on Starr:
"In Little Rock Arkansas Susan McDougal was back in court today. This time the Clinton's former partner in the failed Whitewater real estate deal is on trial for refusing to give testimony to special prosecutor Ken Starr. She says Starr wanted her to lie and provide information damaging to the Clintons."

-- DiMaggio. Recognizing the historic significance for several generations, CNN aired a one-hour special at 8pm ET. MSNBC put together a special Time&Again run at 7 and 11pm ET and FNC aired a special at 11pm ET. On the evening shows, ABC's World News Tonight devoted 7 minutes to DiMaggio, NBC Nightly News gave him 5 solid minutes. CBS's end of show piece consumed just 2:45.

-- Chinese Espionage. Saturday's New York Times broke the story that the investigation by the special House committee headed by Chris Cox had discovered that the Chinese government had obtained MIRV (Multiple, Independently Targeted, Re-entry Vehicles) technology in the mid-80s from the U.S. but that the Clinton administration had done little about the spying when discovered in 1995. CBS ran a piece Friday night and the Times story topped ABC's World News Tonight on Saturday.

Monday night, March 8, ABC's Martha Raddatz reported how a Los Alamos weapons laboratory scientist, Wen Ho Lee, believed to have passed information to China, was fired on Monday by the Energy Department. China, she explained, obtained information on "W-88," America's most sophisticated warhead which allows for 12 warheads on one missile. After running a soundbite from Secretary Bill Richardson insisting all leads are being pursued vigorously, Raddatz concluded with another perspective:
"But Members of Congress charge that the administration acted too slowly in correcting security problems at Los Alamos. Even though the scientist had been under suspicion for over three years he was not administered a lie detector test until last December, a test that sources say he failed; nor was his top security clearance pulled until last fall."

The CBS Evening News led with China as Sharyl Attkisson reported how the Chinese-American scientist was fired, adding that the theft dated back to the mid-'80s but was not discovered until 1995 and President Clinton was not told about it until 1997. Yet, it took until Monday to relieve the scientist. David Martin then looked at the importance of the W-88 which sits atop Trident submarine missiles. Martin reported that China tested a missile recently that's very similar to the W-88, "an important first step toward deploying inter-continental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads" which could reach the United States.

On FNC's Fox Report Brian Wilson talked with Chris Cox who complained about how the Clinton administration wants to redact much of his report prior to any public release. If Clinton's team does not agree to declassify most of the report as the Republicans want, Wilson uniquely reported that the House may go into closed session to consider releasing the report over administration objections.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on the Nightly News, noted that the scientist was Taiwanese born. Mitchell relayed the Clinton spin laying off the problem to another President before she uniquely reported how lie detector tests will now be administered to many:
"The administration says the leak occurred in the Reagan years. And today, to increase security, the Energy Department also ordered more than 600 scientists at three weapons labs to take polygraph tests -- a first. Critics inside and outside the administration say security at the labs has been abysmal for 25 years." Mitchell explained that an informal policy of information exchange has been ongoing with nations such as Pakistan and India and even Iraq until te Gulf War. Mitchell ended with comments from Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who said the administration had been "tardy" in addressing the breach, and Cox who cited a GAO report which found security shortcomings.


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Mario Cuomo would have made a "terrific" Supreme Court Justice ABC's Sam Donaldson asserted Sunday. In a March 7 This Week discussion about the new book from George Stephanopoulos the panelists talked about how close Mario Cuomo had come to being nominated for a Supreme Court vacancy.
Stephanopoulos lamented: "I think he would have been a terrific Supreme Court justice."
Donaldson agreed without hesitation: "Me too."


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Speaking of potential liberal-crusading Supreme Court Justices, last week Time magazine's Alain Sanders praised a real one who had just passed away: Justice Harry Blackmun, who had moved from right to left, earning praise from Sanders for growing in office. During a March 4 online chat session hosted by Yahoo!, Sanders asserted he moved left because he "grew as he went along" and decided to "champion the disadvantaged." Sanders also bemoaned how as the Court has supposedly "moved strongly to the right," it "has lost much of its compassionate tone."

Here are some excerpts from the chat session:

-- Question: "Blackmun was supposed to be a conservative, and he became one of the most liberal. Why?"
Sanders: "Essentially, he learned and grew as he went along. He was also befriended by the Court' master politician, Justice Brennan, who happened to be the court's leading liberal. Certainly Brennan sounded convincing to Blackmun. But Blackmun always respected the little guy. And that respect led him to champion the disadvantaged again the huge power of government."

Except if you have the disadvantage of being in the womb.

-- Question: "Let me follow-up on that last question... Blackmun apparently said that he didn't change, but that the Supreme Court did. Was that the case?"
Sanders: "A little of both. Originally, Blackmun voted along with his long-time friend Chief Justice Warren Burger. Their votes were so similar that the two were referred to as the Minnesota Twins. But eventually he broke away. Once he broke away, he stayed pretty much in the middle. However, the court grew increasingly conservative. And so his middle views began to seem increasingly liberal."

-- Question: "How has the Supreme Court changed since Blackmun was appointed?"
Sanders: "Ideologically it has moved strongly to the right. I also think that with that move it has lost much of its compassionate tone. Even when the Court comes down with a 'liberal' decision, much of the passion seems to be gone from the verbiage. This is a colder court in words and actions."

Conservative = cold; liberal = caring.

To read the entire transcript of the online session, go to:

To learn how the networks covered Blackmun's passing, jump back to the March 5 CyberAlert which quoted how ABC's Terry Moran approvingly noted how Blackmun shifted "from conservative to liberal positions fueled by a frank sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised." Go to:


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Newsweek's Eleanor Clift must live in a parallel universe. Establishment journalists denounced the Wall Street Journal for running the Dorothy Rabinowitz piece on Juanita Broaddrick, NBC News President Andy Lack prevented the Dateline interview from airing for weeks and her name has yet to be uttered on the NBC Nightly News while ABC's World News Tonight and Good Morning America have made a passing reference or two but no story. Her own Newsweek magazine confined its coverage to a one page hit piece from Jonathan Alter on how the charge makes Republicans look as bad as Clinton. And reporters don't even ask about it at press conferences. Yet, Clift sees the media as the ones fueling the story.

MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught this bit of reasoning on the February 26 McLaughlin Group:
"And it's really a metaphor for how the media has changed. You know, when Paula Jones's story first surfaced, it was Clinton's political enemies pushing it in a rather reluctant media initially. Now the Republican House prosecutors seeded the water, saying there's this secret evidence in the Document Room and encouraging people to see it. But basically they dropped the bait, and since then it's been the media who's been after this story, trying to get it out."

Republican leaders sure aren't pushing it, but neither are Clift's media colleagues.


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) "It is no longer acceptable to say that the abuse and mistreatment of women is cultural. It should be called what it is -- criminal."

Hillary Clinton's March 4 address to the United Nations about the abuse of women's rights around the world generated some brief network mentions and some lengthy newspaper stories, but did you see or hear the above statement from Hillary Clinton quoted by anyone? The March 5 New York Times story by Elisabeth Bumiller included the quote, but failed to use it as an opportunity to raise the Broaddrick case.

Tim Graham, the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, checked wire stories on the Internet and learned that UPI and two separate stories by different AP reporters failed to cite the above quote, though a Reuters dispatch by Anthony Goodman did mention it.

Why spoil a good bashing of men around the world by mentioning how a problem man may live in your own home. -- Brent Baker


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