MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour 4/3/1987

This edition of the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour covers a variety of topics, including a spy affair at the Moscow embassy, an interview with Jimmy Carter about the Middle East, the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, a congressional special election in San Francisco, and The PTL Club televangelist scandal.

0:06Copy video clip URL Jim Lehrer and Elizabeth Brackett present a summary of the day’s programming

1:45Copy video clip URL The news summary begins. Two more Marines have been implicated in the Moscow embassy spy affair. Following a recent trip, Jimmy Carter has expressed hope about the Middle East peace. The company that made the rocket seals involved in the Challenger explosion is under criminal investigation. Dow Jones had the largest single day rise in its history. Surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead lost another round in her battle for custody of her daughter, Baby M. Pope John Paul II was in Chile listening to complaints about the Pinochet regime. The jewels of the Dutchess of Windsor sold for $50 million, the largest amount ever paid in an auction for a private collection.

7:21Copy video clip URL This news report covers the Moscow embassy spy affair, showing extended footage from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Two Marines have been accused of allowing Soviets to spy inside of the embassy building, and a third Marine has been charged with failing to report his social ties to a Soviet citizen. The House committee argues about the current embassy security, the possible extent of the compromised intelligence, and the screening and education required for Marines involved with the Soviets.

15:10Copy video clip URL Lehrer interviews Jimmy Carter after his trip to the Middle East. Carter expresses hope about the situation in the Middle East, but says that there is uncertainty among the Palestinians and Israelis. The leadership in Israel has come out against an international peace conference. Carter believes that an international conference is necessary to facilitate bilateral discussions between the Middle Eastern countries. Carter emphasizes the importance of resolving the conflict in the Middle East and answers questions on critical comments he had made about the Reagan administration.

30:43Copy video clip URL This news report covers the case of Jonathan Pollard, a convicted spy charged with selling classified information to Israel. There is controversy surrounding Pollard’s life sentence, which some feel is unjustified. Hyman Bookbinder, head of the American Jewish Committee, says that they were outraged by the Pollard operation and the Israeli response. Political theorist Schlomo Avineri criticized the American Jewish leadership for distancing themselves from Pollard. Charles Krauthammer of the New Republic believes that many Jews are understandably sensitive to accusations of dual loyalty. Abba Eban, who is investigating the affair, speaks about the effects of the case on US-Israeli relations and wants American Jews to make an intellectual contribution rather than blindly support the positions of the Israeli government.

43:06Copy video clip URL This segment covers a special election in San Francisco to fill the congressional seat left vacant after the death of Rep. Sala Burton. One of the candidates, Harry Britt, is openly gay – about twenty percent of the city’s population is gay or lesbian. Philip and Sala Burton represented this district in Congress for 22 years, and they left a strong liberal legacy behind them. Before her death, Burton endorsed Nancy Pelosi as her successor, and she is the current front runner. Pelosi is centrist by the city’s standards, and has benefited from having more money than the other candidates and support from national Democratic leaders. Many of the other candidates resent Burton’s endorsement of Pelosi, and have been running negative ads against her.

52:15Copy video clip URL Roger Rosenblatt speaks about the TV preacher scandal. Jerry Falwell had just acquired The PTL Club, a Christian evangelical program, after Jim Bakker’s resignation. The main worry of The PTL Club’s board members was not Bakker’s sex scandal with Jessica Hahn, his wife’s drug addiction, or Jimmy Swaggart’s alleged takeover attempt, but “the perceived chaos of the whole enterprise of TV ministries”. While religions often depend on donations, these organizations are built on millions of dollars in donations a year, earned by appealing directly to TV viewers. After the scandal, the congregations have become more skeptical of the preachers.

56:44Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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