July 31, 1997
Memo To: L. Brent Bozell, III
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Bank of China
In all the years I’ve been reading your “Notable Quotables” on media goofs, I’ve never found you in error and never far off base. In your July 28 flyer, you are flat wrong in your criticism of Bob Schieffer in “Why Inquiring Minds Don’t Watch Face the Nation.” In his July 13 questioning of Sen. Arlen Specter about China’s reported attempt to influence U.S. elections, Shieffer said: “You say you have evidence that the money came from the Bank of China and then in turn was passed on. But you know the Bank of China, they don’t just have money from the Chinese government there. It would be like I got something from the Fort Worth National Bank, that wouldn’t mean it would come necessarily from the Fort Worth City Council. They keep money from a lot of different people there. Where’s the connection between the government and going into this, into the campaign?”
To tell you the truth, Brent, I thought this was one of Schieffer’s best moments this year. He was the only journalist I saw -- although I suppose there were some I didn’t see -- who correctly pointed out that the Bank of China is a commercial bank, not a government bank. If the funds had come from the People’s Bank of China, you would have a case against Clinton and so would the GOP. The Bank of China is our equivalent of the Bank of America. Senator Specter, who I’m sure knows better, played rather fast and loose with his allegations, but then you recall he has been a prosecuting attorney. The more the Thompson hearings unfold, the clearer it becomes that the government of China did not involve itself in financing American political campaigns, or we would have turned up something more conclusive than the wispy stuff about Johnny Chung writing a check against the Bank of China.
[“Notable Quotables” is a bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, published by L. Brent Bozell, III at the Media Research Center, 113 South West St. Alexandria, Va. 22314, (703) 683-9733. Daily bias updates are available at: http://www.mediaresearch.org ]