Flashback: In 2001, Nets Not So Fast to Jump on Bill Clinton's Pardon of Marc Rich
Monday night, July 2, ABC, CBS and NBC all led with the Libby commutation.
The Tuesday, January 23, 2001 MRC CyberAlert recounted:
....On Sunday's This Week, George Stephanopoulos praised Clinton's pardon of Susan McDougall: "She spent 18 months in prison because of what President Clinton did. It was the decent thing to do."
But then he complained: "There's at least one outrage from what I can tell. He pardoned a man named Marc Rich. You may not remember Marc Rich but he was a banker, a commodities trader who was trading with Iran while they were holding terrorists [actually the U.S. hostages of 1979-80] and trading with South Africa under the apartheid regime. Indicted by Rudy Giuliani. Instead of facing trial he went on the lam. He's lived in Switzerland for 17 years. His ex-wife has given $600,000 almost, over $500,000, to the Democratic Party over the last two years. This is outrageous."
Sunday night ABC's World News Tonight featured a whole story from Josh Gerstein on those upset by the Rich decision.
On Monday night, the NBC Nightly News caught up with a piece by Pete Williams on how Clinton's decision is "sparking outrage from people familiar with the case." Both ABC and NBC pointed out how his ex-wife is a large donor to Democrats and that Rich's lawyer, who appealed to Clinton, is former White House counsel Jack Quinn.
Sunday and Monday nights the CBS Evening News ignored the story.
An excerpt from the Friday, January 26, 2001 MRC CyberAlert:
Bill Clinton does wrong and on whom does CBS News put the burden? His critics! Four days after ABC's World News Tonight and three days later than NBC Nightly News, on Thursday night [January 25, 2001] the CBS Evening News finally ran its first story about the pardon for Marc Rich. But check out how Dan Rather introduced it by portraying those concerned about it as the ones who are doing something unseemly:"Critics of former President Clinton are going beyond the very end. They're raising new questions about one of the end of term pardons President Clinton granted. CBS's Jim Axelrod is looking into the case of fugitive financier Marc Rich and the circumstances that led to his pardon."...