CyberAlert -- 03/29/1999 -- Starr Image "Grossly Unfair"; Actor Denounced "Success and Achievement"

Starr Image "Grossly Unfair"; Actor Denounced "Success and Achievement"

1) Lewinsky grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander went back into hiding on Friday, but not before telling Washington's WUSA-TV that the attacks on Ken Starr have been "grossly unfair." The wider media, however, ignored her defense of Starr.

2) The Genesis of the VRWC? Matt Drudge's mother once volunteered at the Clinton White House.

3) Lucianne's got a gun! That doesn't please ABC's Diane Sawyer who suggested Goldberg's "tongue should have been licensed."

4) The soundbite NBC played to show how Clinton opposes arming the Kosovars did not match the question to which he was responding.

5) "Success and achievement. That is what will bring America down." That's an actual quote from an actor who refused to applaud Elia Kazan.

6) How to avoid Melissa.

Editor's Note: The March 26 CyberAlert recited some bias in CNN's Cold war series and reported that the episode on Reagan and Gorbachev would be repeated on Friday and Saturday night "Kosovo war allowing." Well, it didn't and CNN ran war specials instead of the Cold War on both nights.


forewoman0329.JPG (10365 bytes)cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Lewinsky grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander went back into hiding on Friday, but not before Washington's WUSA-TV aired part two on Friday night of its exclusive interview in which she said the attacks on Ken Starr have been "grossly unfair." The wider media, however, ignored her defense of Starr.

As detailed in the March 26 CyberAlert, she revealed on Thursday, March 25, that she thought Clinton lied and that she would have voted to indict him for perjury. A March 26 AP story quoted her on Starr: "I don't think he's the devil incarnate. I think it's very sad that he's been put in that role." She also Told the AP that Clinton's crimes were "intensely personal" and should never have become a federal case.

-- Network coverage, lack thereof: Friday morning ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ran short items during the 7am news updates on how she would have voted to indict Clinton, though she thinks his activities never should have become public, but neither network mentioned her defense of Starr. Friday night none of the broadcast networks uttered a word about her, though they all made room for some non-Yugoslavia war news. In addition to the Kevorkian verdict which generated full stories on all the networks, ABC's World News Tonight on Friday ran a full report on a new nuclear waste depository near Carlsbad, New Mexico and a short item on Nelson Mandela's last address to parliament. The CBS Evening News provided full reports on how the "North Atlantic Oscillation" caused a mild winter in the East and the Orioles playing in Cuba. NBC's Nightly News devoted a lengthy piece to the disappearance of college students from Cuestra College in San Luis Obispo, California.

-- More of her only on-camera interview in which she defended Ken Starr. During the 6:30 half hour of Eyewitness News at 6 on Friday night, March 26, WUSA's Mark Lodato returned with part two of his exclusive interview with Alexander, a piece you can view on the MRC home page.
Lodato explained how Alexander said the President was wrong to mislead and has no one to blame but himself for his indiscretions becoming public, that she felt sorry for Monica Lewinsky and she thought Betty Currie understood no matter how much it hurt she had to tell the truth. As for Linda Tripp, Alexander asserted: "I almost feel like she doesn't have a life. She was living vicariously through a young woman who she should have been giving positive guidance." Lodato passed along how Alexander also "felt for" Monica's mother Marcia Lewis.
Lodato then got to her assessment of Ken Starr: "The 46-year- old hotel industry executive says the independent counsel was well within his right to investigate the President."
Alexander: "His approval rating is the lowest of anyone. I don't think Linda Tripp's rating is as low as Ken Starr's is and I think it's grossly unfair because he didn't have a job description."
Lodato: "Were you a fan of Bill Clinton's before this issue ever cropped up and are you still today?"
Alexander: "Yes I am and that's primarily because all of us make mistakes and poor choices. Everyone has some value and I think the President has a great deal of value."

Lodato wrapped up by noting that Starr's office would have preferred if she remained quiet and that she is now suing over losing her hotel job.

To watch this story in RealPlayer format, go to the MRC home page where MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post about an hour after this e-mail is distributed. Go to: http://www/
Part one of Lodato's reports can be seen on the MRC's video page:

-- Alexander now silent. The AP reported in a piece run in the Washington Post on Saturday that Alexander had her lawyers tell media outlets that she would no longer talk to reporters. The AP speculated that Judge Norma Holloway Johnson "might be upset over Alexander's comments. Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr met privately with the judge about the matter yesterday, according to a source familiar with the meeting who would not be identified by name."

-- Alexander declared "I absolutely love Clinton" as she revealed to the Washington Post that she's a big Clinton fan, treasures a program from a 1997 Democratic gala honoring him and matches the stereotype of a DC juror as she was upset by the lack of blacks and women on Starr's staff. But, unlike a Los Angeles jury, she also showed how on this DC-based grand jury at least one member could put following the law ahead of personal political views. The Post also revealed that the media found her after an AP reporter came across her name in an industry newsletter story about her suing the Madison hotel, claiming she was wrongfully terminated for her extended grand jury duty. (Conspiracy note: The Madison hotel is on 15th St. NW, across the street from the Washington Post.)

Here are some illuminating excepts from the Washington Post's March 26 front page story by Susan Glasser titled, "Forewoman Would Have Voted to Indict Clinton: Grand Jury Leader in Lewinsky Probe Breaks Secrecy, Says President Lied."

....For 18 months, she was the anonymous leader of Grand Jury 97-2, known to reporters who watched her pass by as "the businesslady" for her crisp professional dress. Day after day, Alexander sat in the front of the closed grand jury room as Starr's prosecutors brought a parade of witnesses to testify about Clinton's affair with Lewinsky and their efforts to keep it hidden from lawyers for Paula Jones.

Alexander, a 46-year-old hotel sales representative, cried when Lewinsky cried. She watched helplessly when Lewinsky's mother broke down on the stand, unable even to talk. She cringed inside when presidential secretary Betty Currie reluctantly acknowledged that Clinton had been alone with the young former intern. And Alexander, who is African American, even reprimanded her favorite prosecutor, chiding him for the lack of women and minorities on Starr's legal team.

But it was the president's behavior, Alexander said, that was most painful for her, though the grand jury was never asked to confront the ultimate question of whether to indict him. "This hurt terribly," she said in an interview at her Southwest Washington apartment, a large-screen television set behind her flashing images of the president going to war with Serbia even as she talked. "I absolutely love Clinton."

Although she voted for the President, Alexander said, she was convinced he lied to the grand jury in his Aug. 17 appearance. "I took offense to it. I consider myself a normal human being and I think oral sex falls within the definition of sexual relations." Her fellow grand jurors were similarly angered, she said, as they watched Clinton's testimony through a remote hookup to the White House. "When he got to what the definition of 'is' is, everybody went....'No he didn't! We are not here for English class.'"

But Alexander, who has never met the President but still keeps the program from the 1997 Democratic National Committee gala she attended to honor him, also reflected the ambivalence many Americans felt about Clinton's behavior. "I believe he lied," she said. "But I also believe he had no other choice."

She was similarly charitable about two of the other most controversial figures in the investigation: Lewinsky and Starr himself. "I feel badly for him," she said of the independent counsel, who appeared before the grand jury only three times throughout their months-long investigation and never questioned a witness. "He was given a job to perform."

As for the 25-year-old who confessed weepingly to the grand jury that she had still loved the President right up until his Aug. 17 testimony, Alexander expressed motherly affection toward her. Lewinsky's account of her ordeal when she was first confronted by prosecutors in the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton brought Alexander to tears. "I was crying, many of the grand jurors were. Even the court reporter."

Alexander, who said she has a son the same age as Lewinsky, told the grand jurors when Lewinsky was outside composing herself that she wanted to "leave her with a little bit of encouragement." And so, when Lewinsky returned, Alexander gave her a hug. "If anyone in the world needed a hug at that moment," the forewoman figured, "it was Monica."

Alexander, who was fired from her job at the Madison Hotel during her grand jury service and has filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully dismissed as a result of her long tenure at the courthouse, said her lawyers had advised her she was free to talk about her "unique" experience.

Legal experts said the comments by Alexander were extraordinary and appeared to run directly counter to the strict rules governing grand jury secrecy. The rule broadly prohibits grand jurors from disclosing "matters occurring before the grand jury.".....

END Excerpt

A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy note: I once lived two blocks from Alexander on the same street in DC.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Speaking of the VRWC, could Matt Drudge's mother have arranged years before for Monica Lewinsky to get an internship in the White House so that years later Newsweek would have a story to delay that her son could reveal and thereby become rich and famous? Check out this paragraph from a profile by Howard Kurtz of Drudge featured on the front of Sunday's Style section in the Washington Post:
"Matthew Drudge is the only child of what he calls 'liberal hippie parents' -- his father is a social worker and his mother, a lawyer, once volunteered at the Clinton White House. He says his conservatism was not a rebellion but built on bedrock principles: He didn't like paying taxes, didn't like big government and felt strongly that abortion was wrong."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Lucianne's got a gun! That doesn't please ABC's Diane Sawyer who suggested "her tongue should have been licensed." MRC news analyst Jessica Anderson caught this exchange on Friday's Good Morning America between the hosting Sawyers:

Co-host Forrest Sawyer: "Lucianne Goldberg, you know Lucianne Goldberg?"
Diane Sawyer: "I do."
Forrest Sawyer: "The public relations person who started Linda Tripp, is now packing heat. Do not mess with Lucianne. People who have complained to her personally on the street have gotten her upset. She has renewed her pistol permit and apparently she has a designer, snub-nosed .22"
Diane Sawyer: "There are people who think her tongue should have been licensed, but to have a gun as well..." [trails off]


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) The Clinton soundbite NBC News played on Friday, in which Clinton appeared to be denouncing the idea of arming the Kosovars, didn't really match the question he was responding to, a possibility CyberAlert was prescient enough to consider. Here's the item in question, from Friday's CyberAlert:

From the White House, David Bloom reported how Bob Dole said ground troops cannot be ruled out. Bloom then noted: "Now some in Congress want to supply the Kosovo Liberation Army with machine guns, grenade launchers, rifles and other arms to better fight the Serbs themselves."

Senator Mitch McConnell: "This would give these folks a chance to defend themselves."

Clinton in the Oval Office: "I think that would be a terrible mistake. We would be far better off if they didn't have as many arms as they do."

Worldwide gun control. I thought we were bombing the Serbs BECAUSE the Kosovars can't defend themselves since they don't have adequate weapons. Now Clinton says they have too many arms? And if the "they" he is referring to are the Serbs, then arms control hasn't quite worked.

END Excerpt

Alert CyberAlert reader Gregg Howard of Denver let me know that Clinton was not responding to a question about arming the Kosovars but about the Russians arming the Serbians. Here's the relevant portion of the transcript of the Oval Office photo-op as provided by the White House home page:

Q: "What about Russians threatening to arm Belgrade?"
THE PRESIDENT: "Well, you know, they have quite a lot of arms on their own. They made a lot of arms in the former Yugoslavia. I told the American people they had a very impressive air defense system and they had lots of other arms and weapons. I have no intention of supporting any lifting of the arms embargo on Serbia. I think that would be a terrible mistake. We would be far better off if they didn't have as many arms as they do; then they would be out there making peace and accommodating these ethnic differences and figuring out ways they can live together."


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Bizarre quote of the month picked up by MRC entertainment analyst Tom Johnson, from actor Nick Nolte who was among those with their arms crossed in the Oscar audience refusing to applaud the Lifetime Achievement Award for Elia Kazan.

Reading through the Playboy Interview in the April issue (I tore out all the pictures before passing it along), Tom came across this gem:

Playboy: "What's the dark side of the American dream?"
Nolte: "Success and achievement. That is what will bring America down."

It doesn't appear he's joking. The next question, which he answered seriously: "Ever achieve any success of the golf course?"

Hollywood really isn't anything like the rest of America, but maybe Nolte is really just inadvertently revealing what liberals at their core really think: Success is bad because it breeds inequality that only high taxes on the successful can correct.


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) Avoid Melissa. Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) warned that the Melissa virus could wreak havoc on Monday, but I won't be spreading it because I'm using WordPerfect. As John Schwartz reported in Sunday's Washington Post, you have to open a Word document to activate it: "The new virus, known as Melissa, is part of a family of digital bugs that prey on the 'macro' functions -- that is, mini-programs that people use to automate repetitive tasks -- in newer versions of Microsoft Word.
"The virus is activated when a user opens an 'attachment,' the files that sometimes accompany e-mail. The message accompanying the attachment generally bears this attention-getting subject line: 'Important Message From' the sender. The body of the message reads: 'Here is that document you asked for...don't show anyone else ;-).'
"Once the attachment has been opened, the program sends out e-mail to the first 50 people on the user's electronic address book, attaching random word processing documents that it has infected, and the cycle begins anew. The virus only affects computers using Microsoft Word 97 or Word 2000 that also have the e-mail program Microsoft Outlook installed (whether or not that program is used to send e-mail)."

One more reason to go with the 20 percent of us who refuse to be Microsoft Word conformists. -- Brent Baker


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