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June 17, 2005
VRWC Sighting At The Gray Lady

Mickey Kaus notes that the New York Times has discovered a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy behind the publication and promotion of the smear-job biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Ed Klein. Raymond Hernandez ensures that all of the VRWC elements are included in his report, including Richard Mellon Scaife, talk radio, Swift Boat vets (really!), and the supposedly lock-step Internet sites of conservatives:

Republican and conservative activists are behind a vigorous campaign to promote a controversial new biography about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, with some even suggesting that the book will help dash any presidential aspirations she might have. ...

The publisher, Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) that focuses on conservative views, has added to the atmosphere surrounding the publication. In a catalog sent to bookstores, the publisher, part of Pearson Plc., compared the book with the campaign by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that attacked the Vietnam record of Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.

In addition, the financing for a conservative Web site that is promoting the book comes partly from Richard Mellon Scaife, a longtime foe of the Clintons who tapped his fortune in the 1990's to finance a project at The American Spectator magazine to dig up damaging information about the couple.

Among the other nuggets that Hernandez manages to find out -- other than that a website to which Scaife contributes funds likes the book, hardly a surprise -- is that NewsMax offers it as a free gift for subscribers and that the Conservative Book Club has it at the top of a page devoted to critical books on the Clintons. That's pretty thin gruel. After all, wouldn't such a book qualify, even if its criticisms amounted to little more than tawdry, unsusbtantiated gossip? I wouldn't spend a cent on it, but if I was asked to list such materials, it would probably go on top, being the newest of its ilk. It doesn't surprise me that NewsMax is giving it away, either; I suspect many others will follow suit when the book drops with a thud in the marketplace.

Conservatives who don't foam at the mouth have already expressed revulsion at the rape allegations that Sentinel leaked to generate prepublication interest in the biography. Hernandez, who probably could number all the conservatives he knows on one hand and still have enough fingers left to type this poorly-researched tripe, didn't bother to report that reaction on the Internet. Sites such as CQ, QandO, and others that Mickey points out recommended that conservatives give this Kitty Kelley-like trash a wide berth.

Hernandez also neglects to mention the pedigree of its author, Ed Klein. Klein's name doesn't come up, oddly, until the eleventh paragraph of the article. In fact, Hernandez quotes David Brock in criticizing the VRWC conspiracy to sell the book three paragraphs before his readers find out that the author used to be the editor for New York Times Magazine. Hernandez never gets around to mentioning that Klein also worked as the editor in chief for Newsweek, hardly a bastion of conservative thought, especially these days.

Hernandez' biased hack job paints a highly incomplete picture of conservative attitudes towards Ed Klein and his new gossip tome. Too bad that the NY Times has lost touch so thoroughly with the right side of the political spectrum that it can't even do the most basic research on it.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 17, 2005 7:56 AM

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» MSM Using Klein to Bash VRWC from The Strata-Sphere
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Tracked on June 17, 2005 12:05 PM

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