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Keeping dossiers on the press
Posted By Joseph Farah On 02/26/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The press establishment is all worked up about the fact that Hillary
Clinton ordered a critique of Washington Post reporter Susan Schmidt’s
supposedly tough Whitewater reporting.
I’m upset, too. Sue Schmidt is a colleague, one I worked with for years
at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. It says a great deal about the paranoia
of this administration that such action would even be considered. You see,
Schmidt has not been all that tough on the administration. In fact, she has
bought some of its biggest lies. If anyone should be conducting an analysis
of her work for bias, it ought to be Reed Irvine at Accuracy In Media or
Brent Bozell at the Media Research Center.
So let’s keep things in perspective.
First of all, the critique of Schmidt was never actually completed.
Press secretary Mike McCurry, that champion of a free press, killed it.
Yet, in 1995, such a critique was completed at taxpayer expense on my
work and the reporting of Christopher Ruddy, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and a
handful of others. It was a 331-page report called the “Communication
Stream of Conspiracy Commerce.” It was nothing short of a media enemies
list compiled by the White House counsel’s office with the assistance of
the Democratic National Committee.
No congressional investigation, no independent counsel probe, and no
serious scrutiny by the establishment press of the circumstances and
propriety of this report were ever conducted.
Now, you tell me, whose liberties and First Amendment freedoms are more
threatened by a frontal assault from the federal government — a reporter
for the Washington Post, or independent journalists not associated with
multibillion-dollar corporate news organizations?
Furthermore, the administration attack on us did not stop with a
malicious report secretly leaked to administration-friendly reporters. That
was just the beginning. The White House also directed its agents to attack
our limited, non-profit funding base. Donors were called and threatened.
Others were audited by the Internal Revenue Service. And then, of course,
our organization itself — along with the American Spectator and National
Review — were audited.
When is the national press going to wake up to the fact that the White
House is occupied by a couple with all the potential to turn this country
into a police state? They have the mentality. They have proven it time and
time again. And there is no meaningful check on their powers — not
Congress, not the inept Kenneth Starr and certainly not from the Fourth
As horrible and as embarrassing to our nation as the Monica
Lewinsky/Tailgate scandal is, I believe the abuse and politicization of
federal agencies such as the IRS, FBI, ATF, etc., is far more threatening,
far more serious. The difference is the establishment press simply doesn’t
get it — simply doesn’t care. Because they didn’t discover it, the scandal
doesn’t exist. No amount of evidence can get their attention. Only when
their own ox is being gored do they pay attention.
You would think, however, that when the media elite sees the White House
going after one of their own that it would open their minds to the
possibility that other similar, well-documented abuses might also be real.
I’ve been waiting for the calls. They haven’t come.
However, my phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from Time,
the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, NPR, CBS, etc. What do they want to
know about? They want to check out Hillary Clinton’s accusations about a
“vast right-wing conspiracy” to “get the president.” And why do they call
me? Because of my prominence in the “Communication Stream of Conspiracy
Do you see the irony here? They know about the report. The White House
handed it to them. They can see for themselves that the administration has
been running this same game plan for years. Only now, as the White House
feels the noose tightening a little, does the Clinton attack machine target
some in the establishment press. Yet, since late 1994, the administration
has been zeroing in on other enemies — like me — with impunity.
Am I frustrated? You bet. But I will carry on. I will continue to expose
the corruption of this administration wherever I find it. I just wish we
had a little help from our colleagues.
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