Accuracy in Media

Some have commented on the odd couple of the first President Bush and former President Clinton acting like good buddies. Here’s another odd couple for you-Bill Clinton and Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Fox News parent company, News Corporation. Murdoch is a participant in an upcoming Clinton-sponsored “global initiative” in New York City. And guess what? The event has been promoted by Murdoch’s Fox News Channel.

The arrangement is only “odd” to those who think Murdoch is a Republican. In fact, he has been a major contributor to the Democrats. News Corp. is a forty-percent owner of the Staples Center, which was provided free to the Democrats for their convention in August, 2000-a value of $3.5 million. Murdoch was a vice-chairman of an Al Gore fundraiser and gave his campaign $50,000. Murdoch’s chief lieutenant, Peter Chernin, the president of News Corporation, is a major Democratic Party operative who raised a lot of money for John Kerry’s campaign.  He raised so much that he was known as a “bundler”-a fundraiser who collected individual contributions in “bundles” of $50,000 or $100,000.

On June 6, Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren interviewed Clinton on the air. It began this way: “This Global Initiative, where you’re bringing together lots of interesting people, Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp., of course, Governor Schwarzenegger, King Abdullah, what is this forum that you’re doing?”

Clinton proceeded to talk about how he’s getting people to his “Clinton Global Initiative” in order to talk to the world leaders coming to New York at about the same time for a U.N. world summit in September. Clinton specifically mentioned getting “leaders of the media” to his event.

Now it just so happens that the Fox News Channel, in addition to giving Clinton a platform to talk about his Global Initiative, has done Senator Hillary Clinton a big favor by canceling some interviews with the author of a new book critical of Hillary. The Washington Post quoted Fox News spokesman Paul Schur as saying, “The book is uninteresting to Fox News.” That suggests that a corporate decision was made to keep the author off Fox News Channel programs. This is the case even though the author, Ed Klein, has “solid journalistic credentials,” to quote the Post. Bill O’Reilly refuses to interview Klein because the book is said to be too personal. Another reason may be that it would look bad for O’Reilly to talk about Hillary’s sexuality when his own personal life and relationship with a female staffer came under scrutiny in a sexual harassment case. He might be accused of hypocrisy if he went after Hillary on matters involving her personal life.  However, Klein was interviewed on Hannity & Colmes and the ban on Klein was lifted again on July 14 when John Gibson interviewed Klein about Hillary’s work as a young lawyer on the House Watergate committee. But the issue of Hillary’s sexuality, a controversial topic in the Klein book, was not raised on that show.

How does one account for a major “news” organization suppressing information about the contents of a book that rocketed to number two on the New York Times bestseller list?

John LeBoutillier, a former U.S. Congressman and a nationally recognized political commentator, says that Klein “has been relentlessly trashed by the Clinton Spin Machine” but has now been vindicated by the success of his book.

He adds, “A completely honorable man and a credible journalist, the pro-Hillary camp had tried to discredit him and his book. And even some prominent conservatives-with their own selfish agendas-aided this trashing. But getting to number 2 on the Times’ list has vindicated Ed Klein.”




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