Skip to comments.Two books, two standards, for Obama, Bush
Posted on 05/29/2012 7:21:36 AM PDT by Kaslin
Not all campaign books are treated equally. Just look at Edward Klein and J.H. Hatfield.
Klein's book, which debuted in early May, has been mostly ignored by large media organizations (although not by the book-buying public, which has put it at the top of next week's best-seller list). Hatfield's book, on the other hand, rocked a presidential campaign -- before crashing and burning on its own dishonesty and its author's criminal record.
"Fortunate Son" attracted attention because it reported that Bush, then the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, had been arrested for possessing cocaine when he was 26 years old. Hatfield wrote that Bush's father, the future President George H.W. Bush, used his influence to cover up the incident.
"George W. was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972 but due to his father's connections, the entire record was expunged by a state judge whom the elder Bush helped get elected," Hatfield quoted a "confidential source" as saying.
George W. Bush denied the story, as did George H.W. Bush.
Still, even though nobody had ever heard of Hatfield, for some reporters the revelation seemed final proof of a rumor that media types had been kicking around -- and sometimes publishing -- since the beginning of Bush's campaign. The New York Times, which had looked for evidence of cocaine before, looked again.
"Reporters for The New York Times, which received an advance copy of Mr. Hatfield's book last week, spent several days looking for evidence that might corroborate his account," wrote Times reporter Frank Bruni, now a liberal columnist for the paper, on October 22, 1999. "But they did not find any, and the newspaper did not publish anything about the claim."
Lots of other news organizations did. When both Bushes denied the story, the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Post, Los Angeles Times, and many others reported Hatfield's revelation.
The New York Times also found a way to pass on the accusation without passing on the accusation; the paper published several articles about the controversy over the book, even if it did not directly quote the book itself. Times readers certainly got the idea.
The party ended when the Dallas Morning News reported Hatfield was "a felon on parole, convicted in Dallas of hiring a hit man for a failed attempt to kill his employer with a car bomb in 1987." The publisher of "Fortunate Son," St. Martin's Press, quickly withdrew the book.
But nobody could withdraw the story. For a while, the tale that Bush had been arrested for cocaine possession, even though it was told by an unknown author who was also a felon who apparently made the whole thing up -- that tale was the talk of the 2000 presidential race. (Hatfield committed suicide in 2001.)
Fast-forward to today. Klein's book reports that in the spring of 2008, in the middle of the presidential campaign and in the heat of the controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermons, a very close friend of Barack Obama's offered Wright a payoff if Wright would remain silent until after the November election.
The source of the story is Jeremiah Wright himself. Wright told it, in his own words, in a nearly three-hour recorded interview with Klein. (The author gave the audio of the entire interview to me, as well as to other reporters who asked.)
Unlike the media storm over "Fortunate Son," the Wright revelation has attracted very little comment in the press. The Associated Press and most of those outlets that talked about Bush and cocaine? They've had little or nothing to say about Jeremiah Wright and alleged payoffs.
The New York Times has published just one piece about Klein's book, a scathing review that asserts that Klein -- a former editor of the New York Times Magazine -- is the real "amateur" in the story. Of the Wright revelation, the Times said: "Any biographical subject has bitter ex-friends and associates. And if they feel snubbed enough, they will talk."
The Obama campaign says Klein's book has no credibility. And other critics say Klein's previous books have contained anonymous, sensational and unverified revelations that should make readers skeptical about the Wright story, too. But assume for a moment that Klein has never written a trustworthy word in his life. What to make of what Rev. Wright said, on the record?
And speaking of anonymous, sensational and unverified revelations, there was a time, not too long ago, when many journalists found them quite newsworthy.
Heh...the Slimes wasn't concerned about any of that when it gleefully "reported" on those hatchet-job biographies published about Sarah Palin.
The source of the story is Jeremiah Wright himself.
Outrageous bias... Shame on the New York Times.
Indeed. And the bias is EVERY day. So casually and regularly that we aren't outraged each and every time any more. And it's not only spiking real stories (Rev. Wright) that should be covered by a real "Fourth Estate" (puke). It's also about making up stories out of whole cloth, ala Dan Rather and the infamous words of Nina Totenberg: "The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it's the seriousness of the charge that matters.".
What a crock! Today's pravda media is an embarrassment to the legacy of authentic journalism.
With regard to zer0, Rev. Wright or any liberal, the liberal old chestnut about "seriousness of the charge" is flipped on its head. The "seriousness" of the charge be damned, regardless of the nature or weight of the evidence.
The utter hypocrisy is disgraceful, reprehensible and appalling. How they can look at themselves in a mirror I'll never know.
Someone on Free Republic back at the time the DUI story became public had a theory that the only reason the story came to light was that it was in George H. W. Bush's FBI files (remember Hillary and the FBI files in the White House in 1993)--otherwise a reporter snooping around the court house in Maine would not have stumbled on a case so old, without the lead from the FBI files. Can't be proven without someone getting a look at GHWB's FBI files, but an interesting possibility.
The point is that there must not have been anything to this cocaine story or Hillary would have known about it (from the same FBI files) and could have fed the information to Gore...assuming she preferred Gore to win.
Secretly you and I, Servant - are still outraged...
Complaining about the double standard is pointless. It exists, like the SEIU and Teamsters routinely maiming and murdering opponents, and will never go away. It’s background noise. Let’s pay attention to things we can change.