CyberAlert -- 04/14/1997 -- Diversion Spiked

Diversion Spiked; Crackpot Burton; Women Underpaid

1. Newspaper accounts reveal the White House had reason to keep Hubbell quiet and documents show the DNC diverted money to state parties to avoid limits and publicity. ABC, CBS and NBC ignore it all.

2. Time's Margaret Carlson agrees with Hillary Clinton's UFO charge and calls Dan Burton a "crackpot."

3. Women earn just 71 percent of what men get, "which really stinks" Katie Couric declares. It's her reporting that stinks.

1) The disclosures keep coming in newspaper stories, so many that it's hard to keep track of them all. But that's not a problem for those who rely on the TV networks for their news. The networks have an easy to follow policy: ignore everything. At least that's what has happened over the past few days.

The April 11 CyberAlert noted that Monday through Thursday last week the Today show hadn't mentioned any fundraising or Hubbell developments. Not even Hillary Clinton's UFO comment on Thursday could budge "America's most-watched morning show" as the blackout continued Friday.

Last week's CyberAlerts detailed how the networks ignored:
-- a Los Angeles Times story on how a White House lawyer wrote "monitor cooperation" next Web Hubbell's name on a 1994 memo.
-- a Washington Times report that two weeks before Hubbell left Justice Hillary Clinton was formally notified that he was under investigation.
-- a New York Times story headlined "A Wider Circle at White House Knew of Effort to Help Hubbell."
-- and at night only the CBS Evening News mentioned a Washington Post story on how the White House passed on classified intelligence information to the DNC.

Here's a list of weekend disclosures and how they weren't covered by the broadcast networks.

-- In a piece that aired Friday on both Inside Politics and The World Today, CNN's Brooks Jackson discovered a connection between a donation and a favorable federal ruling for the donor. Jackson also explained how the Democrats avoided disclosure laws by getting contributors to donate to state parties instead of the national party. Jackson reported:

"Legal publisher West Publishing was selling out to a Canadian rival. But West's Vance Opperman needed Clinton administration's approval. The Justice Department's antitrust division was threatening to sue. Only now is the full story beginning to emerge, buried in once secret documents recently released by the White House. June 4 last year, a secret ledger sheet at the Democratic National Committee lists Opperman for eight contributions adding up to $155,000 -- not directly to the national party, that would attract national attention. The ledger shows the donations directed to states....Opperman's company already had such a huge share of the legal publishing business that smaller publishers implored the Justice Department to protect them and consumers...."

"On June 19, the Department of Justice announced an agreement allowing the sale. The DNC knew Opperman's 155,000 was coming before the administration approved the deal. But money was delivered just after: $25,000 to the New Jersey Democratic Party July 8; $11,000 to Rhode Island July 5..."

-- "Boosts From Above Aided Huang's Rise Up the Ladder," declared a Saturday Los Angles Times headline. In the April 12 story reporter Alan Miller recounted how Commerce Dept. and DNC officials found John Huang's qualifications wanting for the top jobs he got, but their concerns were over-ruled from above.

-- "Padres' Owner Also Hired Hubbell," read another Saturday LA Times headline. Reporter David Willman's disclosed:

"The owner of the San Diego Padres baseball franchise was among those who hired Webster Hubbell after he resigned his high- ranking Justice Department position three years ago....In an interview, [Padres owner John] Moores said Friday that in 1994, he paid Hubbell an advance retainer $18,000 on the basis of a recommendation from Truman Arnold, a longtime friend of President Clinton....Moores said that Hubbell ultimately did not provide him with an accounting of any services he provided..."

-- "White House Knew in '94 that Hubbell Was Focus of Inquiry," declared a Saturday New York Times story. Reporter Stephen Labaton asserted that when Hubbell resigned "the administration knew that Hubbell had already emerged as a crucial witness in several politically sensitive investigations of President Clinton and the First Lady. Shortly before his resignation, Hubbell was interrogated by federal regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. about the role he and Mrs. Clinton had played in the 1980s, when they represented a savings and loan association that ended up accused of corruption."

-- "DNC Diverted Controversial Donations: FEC Reports Don't Show Tobacco, Gambling Checks to State Parties," announced a front page story in Sunday's Washington Post. The story overlapped CNN's Friday report and an April 3 USA Today story ignored by the networks. The Post's Charles Babcock and Ira Chinoy explained:

"Democratic National Committee officials channeled millions of dollars in campaign donations to state Democratic parties last year, effectively hiding big contributions from tobacco, gambling and other special interests. Contributors' checks routinely were sent to DNC headquarters before being passed on to the state parties, but documents show that DNC officials kept meticulous records of the donations so that donors and fundraisers received credit."

So, Friday, Saturday and Sunday brought more evidence that the White House knew investigators were asking Hubbell about his Madison years with Hillary, thus giving a motive for hush money; another donor admitted paying Hubbell for no work; and it's revealed that the DNC hid big donations and got around limits by diverting funds to state parties. What kind of broadcast network coverage did all this generate?

Nothing Friday, Saturday or Sunday night on ABC, CBS and NBC (there was no CBS Evening News in the east Sunday night.) Zilch also on CBS's Sunday Morning and NBC's Sunday Today. The Post story on state party diversion got one sentence from Cokie Roberts during an interview with a GMA/Sunday host.

On World News Tonight/Sunday, ABC's Karla Davis put together a piece on how Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey were pressuring Attorney General Janet Reno to name an Independent Counsel on Monday, the deadline day for a decision. As viewers saw newspaper headlines scroll by, she explained: "The scandal is fueled by almost daily reports of suspect foreign contributions, convoluted bookkeeping and money-laundering by the Democratic National Committee..."

Among the headlines: the Sunday Post story on diversion. But Davis didn't say a word about it. She concluded her piece by noting attention to Clinton's fundraising "is almost certain to intensify this week. The DNC is scheduled to release thousands more campaign documents as soon as tomorrow."

Intensify? Something must be intense before it can be intensified. And fundraising coverage has been anything but intense on the TV networks.

2) Last Thursday Hillary Clinton said those furthering the "fictional conspiracy" of Whitewater "reminds me of some people's obsession with UFO's and the Hale-Bopp comet." Time magazine columnist and former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, Margaret Carlson, agrees. On the April 12 Capital Gang the CNN group discussed Congressman Dan Burton's House investigation. Picking up on Al Hunt's charge that though Burton is a nice guy he is also a "crackpot," Carlson declared:

"The UFO comparison is apt in his case. He is considered flaky and a bit of a crackpot, even though a nice guy. Some crackpots are nice."

3) At the top of Friday's Today, Katie Couric plugged an upcoming segment: "Glamour magazine has designated today as Ask Your Boss for a Raise Day because today, three and a half months into 1997 marks the day when women's earnings finally catch up to what a man made in 1996, which really stinks."

A little more than a half hour later, Couric introduced her guest, Glamour Senior Editor Jill Herzig:

"Glamour magazine has designated today as 'Ask Your Boss for a Raise Day.' That's because today is the day women's earnings finally equal what men made in 1996. In other words, it takes a women more than 15 months to earn what a man makes in 12. So, this month's Glamour says it's time for women to get greedy, or really seek parity."

Herzig claimed: "For the last decade women have earned 71 cents for every dollar a man earns doing exactly the same work and over a 30 year typical career span that adds up to a quarter of a million dollars, a huge amount of money. And this disparity exists in almost any field you can name. For example, on an assembly line a women earns $306 doing exactly the same job that a man earns $396 dollars for."

Couric reiterated her guest's assertion: "And it's important to point out this is less pay for the very same work."

Interesting that equal pay for equal work is Couric's standard. In the union world usually advocated by liberals it's seniority, not performance, that matters most.

Friday night Peter Jennings relayed the politically-charged liberal numbers to a bigger audience. Jennings intoned on the April 11 World News Tonight:

"From an organization called the National Committee on Pay Equity today, a study on how salaries compare for men and women. It says that in order to earn what the average man earned last year, 1996, the average women has had to go on working through the first three months and two weeks of this year, including today. Put another way, last year women earned only 71 percent of what men made and it hasn't changed in five years."

Really? Only by the reasoning of liberals that compares all women to all men when obviously men have worked more years on average and don't take time off for children. Among men and women with equal education and experience pay is nearly identical.

Last year the Independent Women's Forum released an illuminating analysis of male vs. female pay scales. You can read the report at:

Here are three points from the IWF analysis:
-- "Occupation, seniority, absenteeism, and intermittent work-force participation are all critical variables in accounting for pay disparities. In other words, those who assume that discrimination is solely to blame for wage differences are drawing unsubstantiated conclusions."

-- "Over time, women's wages have been steadily rising relative to men's wages. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data show that, among people ages twenty-seven to thirty-three who have never had a child, women's earnings are close to 98 percent of men's. Economist June O'Neill notes, 'When earnings comparisons are restricted to men and women more similar in their experience and life situations, the measured earnings differentials are typically quite small.'"

-- And counter to NBC's claim that nothing has changed in ten years, and ABC's that there's been no improvement in five, IWF noted: "Women's gains in the American economy and in the corporate world have been remarkable. The Korn/Ferry executive search firm found in a recent study that, during the past decade, the number of female executive vice-presidents more than doubled and the number of female senior vice-presidents increased by 75 percent."

But why deal in reality when you can paint a simplistic picture of oppressed women mistreated by corporations.

-- Brent Baker