Accuracy in Media

In our last commentary we discussed the Washington Post?s coverage of the news that DNA tests showed that the claim that Bill Clinton was the father of Danny Williams, the son of a black prostitute named Bobbie Ann Williams, was false. The Post story by its media critic, Howard Kurtz, was extremely protective of the president. It did not mention the race or the profession of the woman who had been making the claim for many years that Bill Clinton was one of her regular clients when he was governor of Arkansas. It said the story was utterly bogus and implied that it should never have been investigated and reported.

We at AIM had reported it, and we don?t apologize for having done so. Danny?s family has wanted Clinton to take a paternity test. Clinton, instead of showing his confidence that the claim was false, never tried to prove its falsity by submitting to a test. Instead, he tried to suppress the story. And he had no trouble in getting papers like The Washington Post to do so.

Leonard Downie, Jr., the top editor at the Post, likes to claim that his paper is independent and nonpartisan, but those who have read it regularly over the years know that this is a bogus claim. This was proven recently by the deposition of Linda Tripp by Judicial Watch chairman, Larry Klayman. Klayman asked Tripp if she had seen recent reports on the Internet by Matt Drudge that The Washington Post was leaking news stories to the White House in advance of publication.

Linda Tripp replied, “That?s completely commonplace.” Asked to explain why she said that, she said, (quote) “Because it happened frequently. We would almost uniformly count on a Washington Post heads-up prior to publication. Asked where she had experienced this heads-up from the Post, she replied, “In the Counsel?s office, in the President?s office.” She said there were nights when she slept on the couch in the Counsel?s office because they were waiting to see if what they had been told by the Post had been printed in the paper. The first edition wasn?t printed until late at night.

Tripp said she thought that Bruce Lindsey, President Clinton?s confidante and hatchet man, was the main contact for these leaks from the Washington Post. She could not remember who his contact at the Post was, but she said it was someone high up, not some gumshoe reporter. She recalled the White House getting advance warning on stories about the Travel Office scandal, developments in the Whitewater probe and Janet Reno?s appointment of a special prosecutor for Whitewater.

Judicial Watch deposed Tripp in connection with its class action suit against top Clinton administration officials for illegally obtaining FBI files of over 900 federal employees who worked in the Reagan and Bush administrations. Tripp testified that she had seen “oodles” of FBI files throughout the White House Counsel?s office, including the file of Republican Congressman Bill Clinger, who helped the White House sell its claim that Vince Foster committed suicide. Surprise! The Washington Post has not reported Linda Tripp?s testimony.

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