Extra! Update April 1994

    Victor Neufeld's Anti-Environmental Spin Continues

    Victor Neufeld, 20/20's executive producer, whose wife is a PR agent who has represented the nuclear, chemical and plastics industries, has continued to steer the show away from environmental stories. In an Extra! expose (1-2/94), 20/20 staffers and ex-staffers told of Neufeld squelching stories critical of the nuclear industry and putting a spin on environmental stories that minimized or denied environmental concerns. ABC reacted to the Extra! article by "circling the wagons" around Neufeld, a 20/20 source said. As for Neufeld's posture on environmental stories, "It's the same thing--and worse." Indeed, Neufeld, along with John Stossel, the correspondent who has ...


    Lifestyles of the Rich and Fatuous

    ABC News' Diane Sawyer, who reportedly had her annual salary doubled from $3 million to approximately $6 million, once lectured a single mother who illegally worked two low-paying part-time jobs to supplement her monthly welfare check of $600 (Primetime Live, 9/17/92): "You know, people say you should not have children if you can't support them." With an annual income of $16,700, the "welfare cheat" whom Sawyer accused of "gouging the taxpayer" earned in a year about as much as Sawyer now makes in a day. While being rich doesn't necessarily mean that you forget what it's like to live on ...


    Walsh Report's Scandalous Coverage

    The media guardians of the Conventional Wisdom long ago decided that the Iran-Contra scandal is an old, irrelevant story that we would be better off forgetting. When President George Bush, just after losing his re-election bid, pardoned many of the leading figures in the scandal, PBS's Robert MacNeil (12/24/92) asked, "Why not bring in the healing power of the pardon...and sweep the bitterness away?" (See Extra!, 3/93.) Mainstream media displayed that same "sweep it away" attitude in coverage of the final report of the Iran/Contra special counsel, Lawrence Walsh. For most news outlets, it was a one-day story, over before ...