Hillary Feature Reeks Of Bias

By Chris Sutton
July 16, 2001

An article appeared in the July 10 edition of USAToday that simply oozed with undisguised and unprofessional partiality for the New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

It wasn't the complimentary quotes the journalist, Jeannie Williams, included, nor the excessively detailed account of Sen. Clinton's good deeds that doomed this article, and so indirectly, the newspaper's editor and entire staff, to criticism-rather, it was the mere token mention of the mountainous controversy that surround Sen. Clinton.

"Token," in this case, means two paragraphs in a 28-paragraph piece, under the heading "Still a Controversial Figure." The first paragraph features a quote from the president of the New York Republican Party that is vaguely pessimistic about her future.

The second paragraph devoted to Sen. Clinton as a "controversial figure" presents a classic Hillary-supporter technique: avoid explicit criticism of her by bringing up her husband. Then, Williams includes one sentence describing the Clintons' large-scale theft of priceless White House possessions as having "loaded their moving van with items that were gifts to the White House." This lets Clinton off easy.

Compare such an interpretation of the facts to the one presented by a NewsMax.com article: "When the Clintons left Washington two weeks ago, they took at least $28,000 in property that was part of the permanent White House collection."

The brief and feeble section on the controversies surrounding Sen. Clinton ends with an assurance from the author that "in the corridors of power that [Sen.] Clinton walks as an insider, those allegations no longer resonate."

Yet the subjective way in which Williams wrote the article is in no way as egregious as what she left out. Surely a section in a feature on Hillary Clinton entitled "Still a Controversial Figure" might mention at least several of the five lawsuits of which she is the target. Travelgate, Chinagate, Whitewater, to name a few-all are deeply significant charges that at least deserve mention.

Williams also seemed eager to dismiss several of Sen. Clinton's most shameless money-grubbing coups. First, the article doesn't mention that Sen. Clinton's $500,000 New York residence is the most expensive of any U.S. Senator, paid for by taxpayers.

Second, the $8 million advance Sen. Clinton received from a publisher has raised eyebrows of both her supporters and detractors. Yet the author gives Clinton the opportunity to defend herself against criticism that she is cashing in on their White House years.

"People can say whatever they want to say, and of course, they will when it comes to the two of us," the article quotes Clinton. "But obviously, every former president has to make a living, and every former first lady I know writes a book."

Chris Sutton is an intern at Accuracy in Media.

For questions or comments, please contact Intern@AIM.org.

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