Media Monitor

THE HILLARY CLINTON NEWS NETWORK

By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

4/06/98


The joke in Washington is that CNN stands for the Clinton News Network. President Clinton's old friend, Rick Kaplan, formerly of ABC News, now runs CNN's domestic news operation. But "Clinton News Network" could also refer to Hillary Clinton. The network has just completed a month-long series of programs in observance of Women's History Month. Each program was hosted by Hillary Clinton and narrated by Jane Fonda. Commenting on one of them, columnist Cal Thomas said it was "perhaps the most one-sided, biased and distorted view of women ever seen on television."

We saw another program in this series which was also one-sided, biased and distorted. It started with an introduction by Hillary Clinton and ended with an interview with her. She was portrayed as the modern American woman, balancing the demands of home, family and career. There were photographs and film footage of the Clinton family laughing together and having a good time. In reality, of course, Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs have reportedly put a major strain on their marriage.

Besides Hillary Clinton, the program featured liberal women such as former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, feminist Betty Friedan, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Elaine Jones of the NAACP. The only conservative woman mentioned or interviewed in the program was Phyllis Schlafly, who had led a successful nationwide effort to stop ratification of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, the ERA. Schlafly was given a few moments to explain that the ERA was viewed as a threat to those women who favor traditional roles such as wife and mother. But Pat Schroder was given the last word, saying that ERA failed because the feminists couldn't reach enough women with the truth. Schlafly was therefore depicted as someone who had misled America's women into opposing their own interests.

The truth is that Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum and Beverly LaHaye's Concerned Women for America today represent hundreds of thousands of women who don't believe in the feminist agenda of Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda. But they were non-entities to CNN. These are women who value homemaking and motherhood. Equally important, these are women who do not believe that a president's extramarital affairs should be excused. Members from both groups turned out at a March 5 demonstration in Washington, D.C. that carried the title "Character Does Count."

In a demonstration that was ignored by most of the media, hundreds of women showed up to protest President Clinton. Some of the banners and signs said, "Interns of the world, UNITE," "Real Men Respect Women," "Morality Matters," and "We feel your shame." The most popular radio talk show host in the country, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who reaches 20 million listeners a week, had mentioned the rally on her show.

Needless to say, Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda weren't there. They were probably too busy putting finishing touches on their women's rights programs on CNN. In tomorrow's broadcast we'll go into more details about this travesty of a television program, and how it denigrated mothers who work inside the home.


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