Accuracy in Media

Some conservatives are saying that the new Ed Klein book on Hillary Clinton is “highly speculative” and “racy.” Candice Jackson, a former attorney for Judicial Watch who has her own book out on the subject of Bill Clinton’s women, warns that “Turning Hillary Clinton into a victim by publishing outrageous claims could backfire and strengthen her candidacy in 2008. This would be ironic given all the horrible things that Bill and Hillary have done over the years to the women who got in the way, including threats, smears, and intimidation. Hillary has shown that she’ll stop at nothing to protect her political power?her real deeds are far more disturbing than the tawdry speculation Klein is spreading.”

One of the “outrageous claims” is said to be that “Chelsea Clinton was conceived when Bill raped Hillary.” Other alleged “outrageous claims” are said to concern “Hillary’s sexuality.”

But a serious reading of the book, The Truth About Hillary, makes it clear that Klein, a well-known journalist who edited the New York Times Magazine and was a foreign editor of Newsweek, wanted to put on the record everything that he could verify about the character of Senator Clinton. As such, it is bound to be personal in nature.

Anonymous Sources

Regarding his use of anonymous sources, Klein told WTNT-AM radio host Julian Tepper that he interviewed 96 people and every one of them who had gotten close to her “stated that they were afraid that she would wreak her vengeance against them. They all said that Hillary Clinton would kill them or see to it that they can’t function in the Democratic Party, or that she would do anything to ruin their career.”

Tepper, who interviewed Klein on his June 25, 2005, radio show, gave Klein a unique opportunity to discuss the contents of his book. Klein said about Hillary, “She believes that she’s been ordained on high to tell everyone else how to conduct their lives and therefore any means is justified to achieve her ends. Her tendency to cut corners, lie and even wander into illegal matters demonstrate that she would be a disastrous President.”

Klein said that associates of Hillary Clinton “went to NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN [and] the liberal mainstream networks, and told them that if you put Ed Klein on, you’ll have to wait a long time before Hillary Clinton will appear on any of your programs.”

Klein also said that he had been “disinvited” from several programs after having been booked for an interview. “I was disinvited by Paula Zahn, by Chris Matthews, the Today Show, ABC, CBS. This was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in my journalistic life,” said Klein.

Klein said that he had been firmly booked by Zahn, Matthews, Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, and John Gibson and Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel, all of whom disinvited him. He said that both ABC’s Good Morning America and CNN’s Aaron Brown expressed a positive interest in having him on, but disinvited him before a date was set.

Bill O’Reilly, host of the O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, has said he will not invite Klein to appear on his show.

Klein said that the “anonymous sources” criticism “has been used by the Clintons and their war room machine to try to denigrate me personally, and the book, and to undermine the book so that people will not read it. Hillary Clinton does not want people to read the book.”

The Rape Charge

Regarding the rape charge, Klein reports that Bill Clinton joked about going to rape his wife during a vacation after he got drunk on beer. The incident, Klein reports, involved Clinton demanding sex from his wife, hardly an actual rape. Nevertheless, Klein reports that Clinton later told friends that Hillary got pregnant as a result of the incident. One doesn’t know what to make of this reported incident. A reader doesn’t know if it is true or not, only that Klein says that this is what was reported to him. Such a statement is not out of character for Clinton, who reportedly raped former campaign worker Juanita Broaddrick. His attitude toward women was to use and abuse them. Clinton’s sex addiction is a matter of public record and cannot be disputed even by his most partisan defenders.

The other controversial matter, Hillary’s sexuality, is related to how she was treated by her husband. Many have wondered how Mrs. Clinton could have stayed by her husband’s side as he committed serial adultery, including the reported Broaddrick rape.

The Klein book argues that Hillary stayed with Bill because they had a political arrangement for mutual convenience. In other words, they used one another. “Hillary accepted Bill’s womanizing as the price of political power,” he writes. Publicly, she acted shocked by Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Klein says, but Hillary knew about it all along.

The implication of the Clinton-orchestrated campaign against the Klein book is that our media, including some on the conservative side, want to ignore the embarrassing truth about Hillary.

Klein told Tepper that while he did not know if Hillary is a lesbian, the subject is relevant because it has “dogged her for the last thirty years or more.”

Lesbianism

Klein supplies no direct evidence of Hillary engaging in lesbian sex. The only evidence offered in this connection is when Hillary reportedly ran her hand over the butch cut of an old lesbian friend at a college reunion dinner. “Maybe,” Hillary says, “I’ll get a haircut like this and really shock everyone.” On the other hand, Klein cites evidence that Hillary had a boyfriend in college and a close personal relationship with Vincent Foster, who came from the Rose Law firm in Arkansas, where Hillary worked, and became deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration. Foster was later found dead of a gunshot wound in Ft. Marcy Park in Virginia in what Klein calls a suicide but which is still a subject of much dispute.

The shocking truth, according to Klein, is that Hillary became a believer in the lesbian political philosophy but that this doesn’t necessarily imply actually being a lesbian physically. “To be a lesbian,” writes Klein, “it was not necessary for a woman to have a physical relationship with other women.” In other words, being a lesbian was a cultural and political statement. It was a form of striking out at the “system,” which Hillary came to hate and despise in college.

Klein notes that Hillary became an avid reader of a far-left Methodist Church publication called motive, which featured articles by Marxists and radical lesbian feminists. One article called for the “complete destruction of the whole male supremacist system.” Hillary would later say she never threw away any copies of the publication because they were so important to her. Hillary is described by Klein as someone who got involved in far-left causes such as the Black Panthers, but a more accurate description of this background would be Marxism. Klein quotes from Barbara Olson’s book on Hillary, which goes into more detail about this.  

Those panning the Klein book may be uncomfortable discussing Hillary’s personal life. But a controversial personal life of a former First Lady who is now Senator and seems to be running for president should not be left immune from comment or criticism. What accounts for Hillary’s strident pro-gay rights position? Is it because of her liberalism? Why does she seem to have so many lesbian friends? We can only speculate on the answers. Klein’s repeated requests for an interview of Mrs. Clinton were rebuffed.  And the major liberal media will certainly not raise them.

More Questions

But the questions deserve answers. How is it, for example, that Hillary changed from a Goldwater girl to a far-left feminist activist? Indoctrination in college is one explanation. But Klein sheds light on those years in Hillary’s life, examining a culture of lesbianism at the college that Hillary attended, as well as marijuana smoking, and noting that she maintained personal relationships with lesbians as she grew older. One of them, Eleanor “Eldie” Acheson, became an Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton administration and then an official of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

These are difficult matters for liberals and some conservatives to deal with. Nobody wants to be accused of prying into someone’s private life. But Klein is no conservative hatchet man determined to destroy Hillary personally. He was intent on examining her character, which is built on surviving in a marriage that is an obvious sham.

It is a troubling portrait. People in the book are quoted as calling Hillary “ice-cold” and even “soulless.” Perhaps this is not entirely Hillary’s fault. Living with someone like Bill Clinton could have produced her strange personality. 

In the final analysis, her character counts because she is surrounded by powerful people who put her in the White House as First Lady and could put her in the White House as president. One, of course, is her husband. But Klein notes that Hillary played a key role in starting a think tank called the Center for American Progress, and that it is designed as her “instrument” for political power. It was funded largely by billionaire George Soros.

The Soros connection emerges in another context. Hillary “encouraged Harold Ickes to join with billionaire George Soros in setting up a group called Americans Coming Together,” Klein reports. Its purpose was to replace the Democratic Party as the main support apparatus for candidates and causes.

“One way or another, Hillary was going to be ready for 2008,” Klein says. But will the American people be ready for a candidate for president with such a radical and controversial background? Not if the major media refuse to interview Klein or explore the information in his book.

Klein noted that Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post media reporter, said on CNN that he was told by Hillary Clinton’s staff that they discouraged the networks from having him on, with the clear implication that Hillary would be unhappy if those networks booked him.

Indeed, Kurtz said on the June 26 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources that “a spokesman for Senator Clinton told me that when news organizations call, they do make the argument, why give this guy airtime, because the book, in their view, is filled with unnamed sources and what they say are inaccuracies.”

Klein also said that one of the MSNBC talk-show anchors told him that Rick Kaplan, the president of MSNBC and an old friend of the Clintons, gave orders that he was not to be booked on any of his shows.

The only TV shows on which Klein has appeared are Lou Dobbs on CNN and Hannity & Colmes, where Hannity stated on the air that in his entire career he never experienced more pressure to cancel a guest that he had with Klein.

Nevertheless, Klein’s book has become number two on the New York Times nonfiction best seller list with virtually no TV. Klein told Tepper that the book’s “success is entirely due to the internet and radio talk shows.”

“She will ruin other peoples’ lives if she wants to or if she feels it will get her what she wants,” said Klein. “She’s certainly out to ruin my life. I’m puzzled by some conservative leaders who want to cozy up to her. They have let me down?let their side down in my view.”

One conservative who believes the Klein book is a must-read is John LeBoutillier, the former Congressman from Hillary’s new home state of New York. He notes that the so-called mainstream media have treated the book like it was “radioactive,” even though they did not even take the time to read it.

(Julian Tepper’s radio show can be heard locally in Washington, D.C. on AM-570 from 8-10 p.m. EST on Saturday nights and over the Internet at www.wtntam570.com)

SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR JOURNALISTS?

Legislators led by Senator Richard Lugar in the Senate and Rep. Mike Pence in the House have introduced a bill called the Free Flow of Information Act. It is termed a “Media Shield Law” that will make it very difficult to compel journalists to appear in federal court cases and turn over information and identify confidential sources. AIM strongly opposes this bill. It should be called the “Special Rights for Journalists Act.”

A press release about the bill stated that reporters deserve “the same protections that are afforded other professions such as clergy, attorneys and physicians.” But why should journalists be compared to those categories of people? In an excellent article in the Wilson Quarterly, Terry Eastland noted that “?though journalists aspired to the status of professionals, they never acquired the self-regulatory mechanisms found in law, medicine, or even business.” This point is made in the context of explaining how the media are changing before our very eyes, and how the definition of “journalist” is changing as well. In any case, calling oneself a journalist should not be a way to avoid responsibility under the law and report evidence of criminal activity.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on this matter, declaring in the Branzburg case that journalists, like other citizens, must “respond to relevant questions put to them in the course of a valid grand jury investigation.”

The jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been cited as a reason to go forward with a media shield law. She was jailed when she wouldn’t testify before a grand jury in a national security case involving the identification of CIA employee Valerie Plame. The case is being pursued by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

Times Hypocrisy

Ironically, the Times had editorialized on December 31, 2003, in favor of Fitzgerald’s investigation, on the grounds that it was imperative to find out “who violated federal law by giving the name of the undercover intelligence operative to [columnist Robert] Novak for publication in his column.” In its editorial hailing the appointment of Fitzgerald, a “respected career prosecutor,” the paper advocated that he exercise “true operational independence” and use the “full powers of a special counsel, including the ability to seek Congressional intervention if he finds his investigation blocked by a government official or agency.”

But Fitzgerald found his investigation blocked by the Times. The Times’ curious position is that the paper wanted a special counsel investigation but doesn’t want to cooperate with it. This shows how the probe has boomeranged on the Times. Initially, the Times believed that an inquiry would reveal some plot involving administration officials using the Novak column to damage former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had written a Times column bashing the administration’s Iraq policy, by identifying his wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame. This is what many on the liberal-left suspected, and that is why then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle called for a special-counsel investigation.

Miller refused to testify even though she had a waiver of confidentiality from her “source” in the case. Other journalists got the same waivers and testified. So why wouldn’t she? Speculation was growing that she had something to hide and was not just protecting her “source.” Perhaps she had provided the name of CIA employee Plame to Bush administration officials in the first place.

Pence has also cited the identification of former FBI official Mark Felt as Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal as a reason to go forward with the media shield law. “Deep Throat exposed corruption in high places because of his absolute confidence that his identity would be protected, and Deep Throat would not have that protection today,” he said.

The Deep Throat Case

But that’s not the case. There was no federal shield law back then, and there isn’t one today. And why is it automatically the case that Felt should have had his identity protected? If we are to believe the Washington Post version of history, Felt had evidence of criminal activity but didn’t go to the authorities. Instead, he gave the information to Post reporter Bob Woodward in a garage. He took the law into his own hands, violating the law in the process. Now Woodward and Felt’s family are trying to cash in. Is that something we want to encourage?  

It is tempting to go to the defense of the press as a guardian of the public’s right to know. But Pence learned the wrong lesson from Felt being named as Deep Throat. Felt should have pursued other avenues for justice in that case. He could have gone to the Grand Jury or Watergate Judge John Sirica. Instead, he went to a reporter, who has earned millions of dollars and stands to earn millions more with another book, this one on “the man behind Deep Throat.” Felt, assuming he was Deep Throat, decided to leak confidential information for various motives, including that he was passed over by Nixon for FBI director. Now he suffers from a stroke and dementia and babbles about making money as a celebrity. This is not something we should encourage.

The fact is that confidential sources can also be used to destroy innocent people. Consider the case of former government scientist Steven Hatfill, whose life was ruined because government officials leaked false information to the press about him. Hatfill was falsely linked to the post 9/11 anthrax attacks and was even labeled a “person of interest” by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. But he was never charged and there is still no evidence against him. Hatfill has filed suit, against the government and the press, and we hope he is successful. But if there were a federal shield law, Hatfill might not be able to force journalists to identify the anonymous government sources who damaged his reputation and destroyed his career. Journalists should not be able to hide behind a federal shield law in order to protect the government officials who smeared Hatfill.

It has now been over three years since the post-9/11 anthrax attacks. It is important for our national security and survival to find out why the case is unsolved and who in the government used the press to finger an innocent man. Members of the media must tell us what they know. They are citizens as well. They are not above the law.

What You Can Do

Send the enclosed cards or cards and letters of your own choosing to Roger Ailes of Fox News and Treasury Secretary John Snow. Also, please consider a special contribution to AIM.




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