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ABC Airs Clinton Footage Shot by NBC

January 14, 1994|JANE HALL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — Footage of President Clinton abruptly ending an interview with NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski aired on ABC's "Nightline" Wednesday night, but not on NBC.

The interview took place in Prague on the day when the White House agreed to ask for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate questions about the Whitewater real estate and banking affair involving President and Mrs. Clinton.

"NBC Nightly News" aired Clinton's strongly worded response to Miklaszewski's first question about Whitewater--in which he blamed the press for presuming him guilty "with no evidence"--but did not include the footage that followed, when Miklaszewski, who had been told he could ask two questions, began to ask a followup. The President stood up, took off his microphone and said, "You've had your two questions. I'm sorry you're not interested in the trip."

"We thought that the first answer--which was part of a separate, hard-edged investigative story about Whitewater--was the central element of the interview," "NBC Nightly News" executive producer Jeff Gralnick said Thursday, "and that showing his (cutting short the interview) might be perceived as a cheap shot by the press."

ABC's "Nightline" got permission from NBC to air the footage later that evening as part of a story about reporters traveling with Clinton on his European trip and bringing up the Whitewater matter.

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