This tape documents an interesting period of time in the early '90s when people with a satellite dish could receive pre-air non-broadcast feeds. The author captured hundreds of hours of this footage and it is an invaluable look at the way politicians craft media appearances. An extremely valuable tape, both for the general knowledge of media and a specific look at the 1992 presidential race.
0:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.
1:45Copy video clip URL Introduction to the year 1992: Rodney King beating and subsequent riots; Bill Clinton was campaigning for president; Larry King show was very popular. Footage of Larry King telling Bill Clinton that Ted Turner will “serve” him after he is elected.
4:55Copy video clip URL The narrator explains that anyone with a dish could have picked this up. He explains the difference between regular TV and the satellite feed.
5:43Copy video clip URL Satellite feed of President George H.W. Bush on the Larry King Show. He asks whether Saddam Hussein is watching them right now. We learn more about the uses of these satellite feeds. Then we learn why and how the satellites are used by the networks. The videomaker describes how he managed to record over 500 hours of satellite feeds.
6:52Copy video clip URL Jerry Brown gets his makeup on and tells the cameraman to turn the camera away. He dips in and out of the frame while he puts in nose drops.
7:52Copy video clip URL Info about President Bush and his appearance on Larry King. They talk about Halcion, a drug which has since been taken off the market. We learn that Bush had passed out in public because of the drug.
9:35Copy video clip URL Bush and his evocation of Harry Truman. King makes fun of Bush with Al Gore. We then learn about the satellite “whistle stops” done in the White House. Barbara Bush says the same things to different TV stations around the country. “I would remind you that all of us awaken, every single day, to a safer, freer world because of George Bush.”
12:52Copy video clip URL Governor Bill Clinton: “This is great. I love these. Can we do more Maryland?” Videomaker talks about the campaign “network.” The politicians use these individual releases to local news stations to bypass the national press and thereby control more of their presentation. Many politicians even create “news” programs to promote themselves and send them to the stations, which generally play them without indicating they are actually paid advertisements, not news stories.
16:15Copy video clip URL Pat Buchanan rehearses. He was a pioneer in satellite stops. Fabricating Nixon’s “silent majority”: Nixon created TV shows promoting his idea and gave them to TV channels, who played them without announcing that they were made by him. Buchanan talking about secret CBS plans. Clips of Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, and Henry Kissinger.
21:35Copy video clip URL People claim that Clinton got valuable airtime because of the scandal over his extramarital affair. People say this won him the election. “I figure if everyone in Maryland who’s ever had problems in their marriage and either been divorced or gotten back together votes for me, I figure I’m a shoo-in for the election.”
25:30Copy video clip URL Larry Agran, presidential candidate, who was literally shut out of the race by lack of media coverage, despite being (in the videomaker ‘s opinion) perhaps the best candidate. We see him at a network appearance where his people had to run out and buy makeup because it was not provided. Agran’s primary votes were not reported even though he was ahead of Jerry Brown, who got plenty of coverage. We see him fishing money out of h is pocket to give to the aide to buy the makeup.
30:10Copy video clip URL CBS looks for solutions to urban problems. A man wants to make an interesting point about urban medial care and links the situation in poor urban areas to conditions in the Third World, except that Third World countries are developing. The reporter makes him just say something about how we have the best health care in the world. Newscasters before they go on the air to report about Rodney King: “Even though there is no news, the management deems it necessary that I come on here every morning at 7 am and shock the shit out of you.” Newscasters think about interviewing a person at a protest, but decide it would be “irresponsible.” We learn about the awful ways the networks influenced the Rodney King trial.
42:24Copy video clip URL Al Gore’s wife, Tipper, calls Larry King show (where Gore is a guest) and asks him out on a date. Gore didn’t initially recognize his wife’s voice. She then does satellite news reports all over country and her aides applaud their decision to have her call and appear so cutesy. We learn that the pro-life stance was chosen by Republicans to try to take some of the traditionally Democrat-leaning Catholic vote. Pat Robertson says that the Christian Coalition wants to gain control of Republican party by 1996. He talks about all the news outlets he owns. The 700 Club discusses “Operation Rescue,” who try to destroy abortion clinics. Newsman accuses Gore of imposing his beliefs on abortion on poor women by including abortion coverage in a theoretical national health coverage plan.
54:00Copy video clip URL Robertson was getting $150,000 a year in donations. We see a televangelist acting crazy and suddenly switching off and acting like a bossy TV star when they go off the air. Donations to religious programs plummeted when prominent televangelists were caught sinning. Then Falwell sent out a fundraising letter claiming that homosexuals with AIDS were knowingly donating their blood to blood banks to try to take down the world with him. His ministry was revived. He claims that gays are conspiring with other subversive agents to destroy the United States.
58:10Copy video clip URL Pat Robertson on the Larry King Show. He knows how to spin. We see the satellite feed of Robertson during the commercial break. He calls the previous caller a “homo” after he asked whether he would let a pro-choice person be part of his party. He claims that every person who called the show and criticized him was a homosexual and that the Larry King show is trying to persecute him. One of his own people goes on the phone to call in.
1:02:50Copy video clip URL We see Bush and Clinton separately telling supporters that they want a debate. Clinton wants to arrange a debate on Larry King with live callers to ask questions. Clinton and Gore go on Larry King. We see how dramatically King complements whoever he’s talking to. We see him doing it to Clinton/Gore, then Bush, then Perot.
1:09:00Copy video clip URL We see the live results from the polls on election day.
1:12:00Copy video clip URL White House finds out about the satellite feeds. Clinton then was able to see things that were coming out before they go out and counteract them.
1:15:39Copy video clip URL Credits.
1:17:12Copy video clip URL End of tape.