Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Valerie Plame coverage vs. Juanita Broaddrick coverage?

NewsMax shows the stark contrast in coverage between these two stories:
Which topic should provoke more media interest?

A report that White House advisor Karl Rove told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper that the wife of showboating Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA - a revelation, by the way, that did nothing to damage her career as a desk-bound analyst, let alone endanger her life.

Or a woman who NBC spent a year trying to convince to detail her allegation that she was raped by the president of the United States.
If you're a member of the White House press corps, clearly the first story is a matter of supreme importance. The presidential rape allegation, on the other hand, is a real yawner.

At yesterday's White House press briefing, reporters peppered Press Secretary Scott McClellan with 48 questions on the Wilson-Plame case - focusing on whether Bush would now fire Rove.

The questioning turned so aggressively hostile that, when McClellan asked a reporter to allow him to finish his answer, the reporter shot back: "No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything."

When President Clinton faced the press on March 19, 1999, however, it was a different story. Only ABC newsman Sam Donaldson dared ask the question that was on everybody's mind.

"Mr. President, when Juanita Broaddrick leveled her charges against you of rape in a nationally televised interview, your attorney David Kendall issued a statement denying them. But shouldn't you speak directly on this matter and reassure the public? And if they are not true, can you tell us what your relationship with Ms. Broaddrick was, if any?"

Clinton's response:

"Well, five weeks ago today -- five weeks ago today, I stood in the Rose Garden after the Senate voted [not to remove me from office] and I told you that I thought I owed it to the American people to give them 100 percent of my time and to focus on their business, and that I would leave to others to decide whether they would follow that lead.

"And that is why I have decided as soon as that vote was over that I would allow all future questions to be answered by my attorneys, and I think I made the right decision. I hope you can understand it. I think the American people do understand it and support it.

"And I think it was the right decision."

Donaldson followed up, asking Clinton, "Why not simply deny it, sir?"

The president instead invoked lawyer David Kendall's denial, explaining, "There's been a statement made by my attorney. He speaks for me, and I think he spoke quite clearly."

And with that, the entire Washington press corps simply dropped the subject, never raising Broaddrick's claim with either Clinton or his then-Senate candidate wife again.

Perhaps Mr. McClellan could begin today's press briefing reminding reporters how cowardly they were when it came to pursuing truly serious allegations of genuine criminality.
Yep, Bill Clinton rapes a woman and says "I'm not gonna talk about it anymore"...and the MSM says "OK, sounds good to us! You got it, sir!" No doubt that an unelected advisor who has committed no crime is much more newsworthy than a then-sitting president's criminal activity in the past.

Nope...no liberal media bias.