The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on August 26, 1995 · Page 4
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 4

Akron, Ohio
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 26, 1995
Page 4
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'Page A4, Saturday, August 26, 1995 The Beacon Journal Sen. Packwood demands Bearings be made public Oregon Republican says news coverage one-sided. He wants accusers out in open the Station THE SELLER ValueVision International, Inc. s THE BUYER Paxson Communications Corp. WAKC-TV Channel 23, in Akron I& David G. Savage Ijm Angeles firm Washington: Embattled Sen. Bob Packwood, under investigation for more than two years over allegations of sexual misconduct, announced yesterday that he wants public hearings on the complaints against him and a "public cross-examination" of his female accusers. :The surprise reversal by the Oregon Republican intensifies the spotlight on a festering controversy many senators hoped would just gO away. And it creates the possibility of another embarrassing spectacle for the Senate, akin to the 1991 hearings over alleged sexual harassment involving law professor Anita Hill and then-Supreme Court candidate Clarence Thomas. i Earlier this month, Senate Democrats, led by California Sen. Barbara Boxer, demanded a public airing of the charges against Pack-wood. On a largely party-line vote, the Senate rejected her request, 52-48. Packwood's switch means hearings are now almost certain. The National Organization for Women called Packwood's announcement "a political act of desperation by a desperate man." Packwood said he changed his Wu Prisoner kept secret diary in book's margin Continued from Page Al should I be honest with them?" he said. "I deal with men as men deal with me, and they lied to me from the very beginning." While confined in a barren 9-by-12 foot room he shared around the clock with three guards, Wu said yesterday that he kept himself from going mad by engaging in psychological duels with his interrogators and not thinking about freedom. "I tried to avoid thinking of the United States, my wife and my family. I knew ... it would destroy me," said Wu, who is a naturalized United States citizen. He had been convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for espionage, the result of his human rights activities. The White House, which had protested Wu's imprisonment and delayed a decision on whether First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton would head a delegation to Beijing for the United Nation's Women's Conference on Sept. 5, said yesterday that she now would attend. A coincidence? "She had to judge by herself to go or not to go," Wu said. "But if my release is part of a deal, if this is a condition for Mrs. Clinton to go to China, I will be angry. ; "The release of Harry Wu does not mean the Chinese human rights record has improved. The police told me, 'You are lucky you are an American citizen.' This made me very sad." Nevertheless, China is likely to pressure the administration to reciprocate for its gesture in releasing Wu. It seeks new assurances about Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory. ; For months, the administration has been refusing to apologize for permitting Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to visit his alma mater, Cornell, in upstate New York last June. But there was a hint of new flexibility in the American position on Taiwan when the administration announced Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoffs weekend fence-mending mission to China. :The State Department's formal announcement of Tarnoffs visit Call Today 8:30am - t 1 l' " ! If I 5 1 Custom Bunas & Snaaes For All Makes Of Sunrooms, Home S Office Sunroof f vr j t. ' , .till- -fin EWCURES-IWC' If i: Jh. mind about the need for public hearings because Boxer and the Democrats, invoking the new gender politics, were accusing the male-dominated Senate and its Republican majority of covering up the charges filed by women. Nineteen women have complained that Packwood made crude advances to them since 1969. Many said they were surprised when the senator grabbed them and kissed them. "It was a dangerous day when Sen. Boxer politicized the ethics process," Packwood said. Senate Republican aides say Boxer's strong attack has stiffened the backs of key Republicans. For example, Ethics Committee Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently suggested that the panel perhaps should hold hearings on the 1969 incident in which a female former Senate staffer drowned when Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., drove his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick Island. Packwood's announcement culminates a week when he and a new team of lawyers waged an aggressive campaign to raise doubts about some of his accusers and to portray his past conduct as occasional clumsy gropings by a normally reserved man. Packwood and his supporters said he would talk with Chinese officials about "bilateral, regional and global subjects, including Taiwan." That is a change from previous announcements of such talks that have not mentioned Taiwan. Wu, who spent 19 years in Chinese labor camps before immigrating to the United States in 1985, said he had dreaded another long prison term almost as much as the death sentence his captors constantly told him he would receive. "I had to prepare for my death," he said. "I decided if they put me in jail, even one month or two months or three months, and were not going to deport me, I would just have a hunger strike." Instead, he's home, asking wife Ching Lee Chen to remarry. "I confessed to my wife. I said, 'I didn't think about you a lot, because if I did think about you a lot, I would go mad. I would have to prepare for death,' " Wu said. Wu said he was never beaten or otherwise physically tortured during his confinement, but was under constant psychological pressure from his interrogators and guards who stayed with him in his tiny room day and night. He said that from the beginning of his confinement, when he was arrested June 19 while crossing the Chinese border from Kazakhstan on his fourth clandestine trip to investigate China's extensive "reform-through-labor," or laogai, sys Perms $15 MODELS NEEDED Aug. 28 & 29 (Famous Hair Models ore required to have shoulder-length or shorter layered hair. 922-4111 I Call Between 10 & 3 Adults Only Mention This Ad When You Call. 1pm Km II " Surround Yourself With Classic Elegance & Style! Affordably Priced Three Season Or Year-Round Enclosures & Solariums! PAI ,il Free In-Home Estimates 100 Financing . No Money Down No Equity Required V. , 253-9270 Sunroom and Casual Furniture Showroom: 480 E. Highland Rd. Macedonia, OH Seo A Sales Representative In Our Showroom Sat. 10-5 4 Sun. Noon-5. complained about what they say is one-sided news coverage that repeats the allegations without investigating "discrepancies" in their accounts. In a television interview to be aired today, Packwood states that some of his accusers are "out-and-out lying." Hearings will force these women, some of whom have kept their names confidential, to tell their stories in public and to be questioned by his lawyers, Packwood noted. "You don't come forth with a paper bag over your head," he said. Packwood's attack on his accusers is at least his third strategy for countering the complaints, which became public in December 1992. At first, he apologized for "terribly offensive" conduct toward women. Later, he blamed "binge drinking" and said he had "no memory" of several of his accusers. Before Packwood's reversal on the issue of open hearings, the Senate Ethics Committee had been expected to meet in September and recommend a punishment for the senator. Boxer said public hearings on Packwood could turn into another spectacle like the Hill-Thomas confrontation, but she said that was a price to be paid for getting at the truth. tem, he mentally sparred with his interrogators, assuring them he was willing to confess to crimes. More lies. "I have to lie to liars," Wu said. "So, in the beginning, I say, 'What do you want? I'm here, like meat on the chopping block.' " An expert on the tricks prisoners play, Wu kept a secret diary on the margins of a Chinese-English dictionary, sealing the edges together with a thin glue he made from rice and water. Paper and words kept him going. Chinese officials let him read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and an issue of the International Herald Tribune. When he saw an opinion piece by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger containing a reference to "the fete of Harry Wu over there," Wu realized there was a movement to free him. It was not until China did free him that his guards gave him the back medicine to relieve the constant pain he has endured since breaking his back during his first confinement. But Harry Wu still endured. And that's no lie. Assisted Living y t Traditions at s J f- Bath Road you can choose the services you need to maintain control of your life - from assistance with dressing and housekeeping to skilled nursing care. Continue your favorite activities and host your friends and family in your private apartment. Traditions at Bath Road is an assisted living community and a part of National Church Residences Care Center. Traditio AT BATH ROAD LHJ 300 East Bath Road Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio yp- (21( 929-6272 ns Canton 456-4000 I Or Call Toll Free 1-800-589-4200 For Prompt Local Service WAKC-TV Akron-Canton Started in 1953 by the late Bernard Berk. It was the third charm in the Berk family's media bracelet. WAKR-AM was started in 1940 and WAKR-FM (now W0NE) was added in 1947. The new station stayed in the family until November 1993, when it was purchased by ValueVision for $6 million. TV WAKC buyer also is acquiring Canton station Continued from Page Al gy is to acquire independent television stations and convert them to what it calls its IN-TV network format, broadcasting lengthy paid advertising features. Lately, the company has been on a television station buying binge and is waiting for FCC approval to take over eight stations including WOAC (Channel 67) in Canton, and WTJC (Channel 26) in Dayton. Network affiliated television stations will continue to operate as such, Paxson spokesman Glenn Westcott said. WAKC's ABC affiliation was the impetus behind yesterday's sale. When ValueVision bought the station, it said it would be shifting the station's programming to predominately home shopping fare. The company fully expected that ABC would opt out of its affiliation agreement, opening the door for conversion to a home shopping channels, said Stuart Romenesko, ValueVision's chief financial officer. But almost as soon as ValueVision was in the door, ABC surprised the new owners and immediately renewed its affiliation, apparently through a clause in its agreement that allowed the network to do so. ValueVision had little choice but to sell the station once again: Romenesko said his company did not want to operate a network affiliate. "It clearly wasn't a fit," Rome After 77 yrs ... Berids a 7 I I I 1 d) All Sales Final o Everything must Go -Prior Sales Excluded IEE1ID9 LIGHTIBJ 2076 Romig Rd. (Our New Location) SPECIAL HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10-SP.M. Sat. 9-5P.M. Sun. 1-5P.M. ALUE VISION Based in Minneapolis, Minn. Ticker symbol: WTV (Nasdaq) Background: Third-largest television home shopping network in U.S., with 11 million subscribers. Earlier this month, the company sold 4.4 percent of its stock to the Chicago-based retailer, Montgomery Ward, which plans to test-market a home-shopping channel promising next-day delivery. Fiscal 1995 sales: $53.9 million Total assets: $77 million nesko said. "We are a home shopping business. ... We are not in the business of running an ABC affiliate network." It's unclear what changes, if any, the new ownership will make on the station's local news programming, which has gone through some dramatic changes over the last two years. Traditionally serving the Akron-Canton market, the news division's focus was switched by ValueVision to Akron-Cleveland. The company also expanded the news programs. There was speculation yesterday that the news operations of WOAC in Canton would be teamed up with Akron's news staff and the focus would return to the Akron-Canton market. Founded in 1953 by the late Bernard Berk, WAKC had remained a family operation until its sale to ValueVision last year. With the change in ownership came anxiety over the commitment to local news, which hastened the departure of a hoard of local talent, including reporters Linda White and Todd Morgano. Fred Anthony, president and chief executive officer of Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital, spent 18 years with Channel 23 when it was owned by the Berk family. Anthony said he was pleasantry surprised that the station actually expanded its commitment to news programming under its current ownership, despite some early speculation that the local news could disappear under ValueVision. h I if 1! 1 License No. 15003 Based in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ticker symbol: PXN (Amex) Background: Owns 20 radio stations and 22 television stations, which the company calls the Infomall TV Network, specializing in infomercials. The company was founded in 1991 and went public in July. Assets: $24.2 million Beacon Journal "The same question is going to surface with a new owner, and it ' would be unfair to speculate what ; that new owner is going to do," he said. Asked if he was surprised by the ValueVision announcement, Anthony said. "Nothing in broadcasting surprises me anymore. It's a tough business." Carpet Vinyl Hardwood Ceramic Remnants Area Rugs CUippcr Carpet Montrose Center 666-6552 Nfit Inlnnet SleaklMnse Planning on dinner out and then a show? Check The Beacon Journal entertainment pages first. tv Lighting Is mmm m fa MS

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