Accuracy in Media

The right may be saddled with the embarrassing Ann Coulter, who accused a group of 9/11 widows of being “witches” and “harpies” and enjoying their husbands’ deaths, but the left has to answer for Wayne Madsen, who is sticking by his sensational claim that President George Bush is having an extramarital affair with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Madsen, the source behind this week’s tabloid Globe cover story about First Lady Laura Bush moving into a hotel in protest over the alleged affair, tells me the major media are “afraid” of covering the story. They are “waiting for the water to get warm,” he told me. “You know how they are.”

Madsen, who is described on his website as a contributor to The Village Voice, The Progressive, and Counterpunch, previously accused White House aide Karl Rove of having “personally coordinated” the assassination of a Lebanese political official. The major media never warmed up to that charge either. In another article, Madsen has identified the President himself as a member of a Christian “blood lust cult” who “sees no other option than death for those who become his enemies” and “revels in indiscriminate blood letting.” 

Madsen describes himself as a former U.S. Naval officer who was assigned to the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration. But on the cover of Globe, he is identified as the “National Security Honcho” who “tells all” about Bush and Rice. The cover shows a huge picture of Laura Bush with the headline, “Laura Walks Out!” Madsen is pictured in the tabloid and identified as a “Former National Security Administration official” with “explosive revelations” from “a very credible person” who is not named. 

Not upset in the least about his role in this “story,” Madsen has reproduced a copy of Globe’s cover on his website, saying that American Media, Inc., publisher of this and other tabloids, has “the goods” on Bush. Madsen adds, “Word from the South: This story ain’t playing well among Dubya’s white, fundamentalist base, his last bastion of support.”

The latter comment suggests why the Bush-Rice story has been published in the first place. It has all the earmarks of a political dirty trick, designed to damage Bush politically as elections approach and his political party faces the prospect of losing control of Congress. Another photo on the cover of Globe shows Bush with his arm around Rice, as if they are a couple. The message from this photo, taken to show his innocent affection for his aide, is, as Madsen suggests, that the President is intimate with a black woman. Globe reports, “Madsen says he’s heard about ‘intimate encounters between Bush and Rice on trips to New York City on multiple occasions, and in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.'” 

What is fascinating about Madsen’s involvement in all of this is that he has also turned up as a reliable source for Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), a publication associated with political extremist and convicted criminal Lyndon LaRouche. The LaRouche group originally came out of the Marxist left and LaRouche once described his network in a 1976 lecture, “What Only Communists Know,” as working to bring into being “a new Marxist international?” 

During the 1980s, members of the group showed up at airports and other events promoting nuclear power and attacking Ralph Nader, hoping to make inroads into the conservative movement. I exposed their con in the pages of Human Events at the time. 

More recently, however, they have taken a left turn. LaRouche became a Democrat and one of his former associates, Robert Dreyfuss, who used to write about Zionist plots for the New Federalist, another LaRouche publication, became a contributor to The American Prospect, The Nation, the New Republic, and Mother Jones. 

The LaRouche group came to the defense of Iraq before the first Persian Gulf War, running a piece entitled “Why we must support Iraq.” LaRouche said Saddam Hussein was committed to transforming the Arab world through “scientific and technological progress.” Larouche has appeared on Al-Jazeera as a special guest and his associates have led the attacks on the “neo-conservatives” said to be running U.S. foreign policy. 

Taking personal attacks to a new level, LaRouche has accused both Bush and Vice President Cheney of being insane. The Bush Administration in various EIR articles is said to be linked to the “Children of Satan,” a group of “Beast-Men,” and Satanic pedophiles. Meanwhile, a LaRouche associate, Jeffrey Steinberg, has surfaced in the pages of the National Enquirer, also published by American Media, Inc., as a “security expert” with shocking information about how the Bush Administration has failed to respond to terrorist threats. 

It would be tempting to dismiss all of this, were it not for the fact that such information has been publicized by supermarket tabloids which are read or at least seen by millions of people as they check out of their favorite grocery stores. 

While no conclusions can be made at this point about the politics involved with the latest attack on Bush, it should be noted that one of the main financial sponsors of American Media, Inc. is Evercore Partners, an investment firm whose chairman is former Clinton Administration Treasury official Roger C. Altman. 

While Wayne Madsen is given credibility by the Globe tabloid, Madsen is openly complaining on his own website about a lack of funds to support his brand of investigative journalism. “Some have mentioned petitioning George Soros and the other deep-pocketed liberal philanthropists for help,” he says. “With such money comes strings. And they are strings that would prevent us from going in certain directions. WMR [Wayne Madsen Report] is fairly unique in that we are not beholden to any agenda, fascist neo-conservative Republican or limousine neo-liberal. We talk to the informed sources in Washington and elsewhere, consolidate that information, and report it to you, the reader, without elitist strings being attached.”

Madsen’s standards are such that only the Globe appears to be taking his latest charges seriously. But I have to agree with his suggestion that there is a distinct possibility that the major liberal media may eventually pick up the charges.

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