NBC News Sits On A Bombshell, Eight-hour on-camera interview by Lisa Myers with Juanita Broaddrick in which Mrs. Broaddrick charges that she was brutally raped by Bill Clinton in 1978, Paula Jones’s lawyers court documents, Newsmax February 5, 1999

NBC News Sits On A Bombshell, Eight-hour on-camera interview by Lisa Myers with Juanita Broaddrick in which Mrs. Broaddrick charges that she was brutally raped by Bill Clinton in 1978, Paula Jones’s lawyers court documents, Newsmax February 5, 1999


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From NewsMax February 5, 1999.

“NBC News Sits On A Bombshell”

“It is obvious that nothing short of a bombshell could shatter the unity of the 45 Democratic Senators and persuade a dozen of them to vote to convict President Clinton and remove him from office. NBC News has been sitting on such a bombshell. It is an eight-hour on-camera interview by Lisa Myers with Juanita Broaddrick in which Mrs. Broaddrick charges that she was brutally raped by Bill Clinton in 1978, when he was attorney general of Arkansas. Lisa Myers first reported this on the NBC Nightly news last March.
She said then, “In court documents today, Paula Jones’s lawyers claim Clinton ‘forcibly raped and sexually assaulted’ Broaddrick, then ‘bribed and intimidated her’ to remain silent. Sources say that Broaddrick, 54, recently denied under oath that such an assault occurred. But Jones’s lawyers claim she had told their investigator she had suffered a ‘horrible thing’ at the hand of Clinton and did not want to relive it. NBC News has talked to four people from Arkansas who say Broaddrick told them of such an assault years ago.”

Broaddrick has since been deposed by Ken Starr’s investigators, and her deposition is said to be an important part of the still-secret evidence that persuaded wavering House Republicans to vote for impeachment. If Juanita Broaddrick could tell the Senate what Bill Clinton did to her, even diehard Clinton loyalists might find it hard to vote to keep him in office. The airing of her story by NBC might have forced the Senate to convert its pro forma exercise into a genuine trial where her testimony might have had some impact on those Senators who say that the fuss is about nothing more than consensual sex between two adults.

It was reported on the Internet that NBC had planned to air the Broaddrick story on January 29. That was not true. Tim Russert, the Washington bureau chief of NBC News, has said, “If we honestly had a buttoned-up bombshell, we would go with it in a flash.” The story would be aired, he said, when they had adequate corroboration for it. NBC obviously had far less corroboration for the story they aired last March than they do now. The March story contained a serious error—the claim that Clinton had “bribed and intimidated” Broaddrick to remain silent. Broaddrick herself has said that is false. NBC has obviously raised the bar for this story. They still have three investigators in Arkansas working on it, but a reliable Arkansas source says that all the major elements have been documented, and the investigators are busying themselves with minor details.

What has kept it from being given an air date? Robert Wright, the chairman of NBC, told me that they were still missing a piece of very crucial information, and he didn’t feel comfortable airing the story until they got it. He told me, off the record, what the missing information was, and he okayed my checking it out with Mrs. Broaddrick.

She informed me that NBC had that information and the documents that proved it. I was able to confirm this and inform Bob Wright that he had been given false information. He responded that he must be out of the loop farther than he thought. He said he would look into it. In an earlier conversation he had acknowledged that there were people with clout at NBC News who, like CNN’s Rick Kaplan, were friends of Clinton’s. When, in our second conversation, I told him that I was going to write that it looks like the Kaplan clones at NBC are responsible for the delay, he did not agree, but he did not protest my saying it.

The prime suspect would be the president of NBC News, Andrew Lack. Washington bureau chief Tim Russert reports to him, and Lack reports to Wright. It is not likely that Russert would sabotage a story that one of his best reporters had been working on for a year by telling Lack that they were still missing indispensable information that they actually had. Russert assured me that there were no phone calls to NBC from the White House about this story, but he could not possibly know if Clinton or one of his aides had spoken to Lack. When asked about Andrew Lack, a retired CBS correspondent came up with “Kaplanesque.”

In 1992, Rick Kaplan, who was then with ABC News, was suspected of having been behind ABC’s sacrifice of a big scoop—Clinton’s infamous 1969 letter to Col. Eugene Holmes. The letter explained why he had not kept his promise to enroll in the ROTC at the University of Arkansas, a promise he made to escape induction. ABC’s delay in reporting the story helped save the Clinton candidacy. It appears that a Kaplanesque official at NBC News has now helped save Clinton’s presidency by sabotaging the timely airing of NBC’s exclusive interview with Juanita Broaddrick.”


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