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Friday, February 2, 2007
Kessler, Morris Peddle False Hillary Claim
Topic: Newsmax

NewsMax has taken an interesting approach to telling its readers about Dick Morris' anti-Hillary activism: having Ron Kessler write about it. A Feb. 1 article by Kessler details Morris' involvement in a documentary that will "present Hillary's conflicting statements side-by-side and will portray her disingenuous statements and misrepresentations alongside the facts."

Too bad Kessler and Morris engage in a misrepresentation of their own. Kessler writes:

As an example of Hillary's disingenuousness, Morris will feature Hillary's NBC interview with Jane Pauley on Sept. 17, 2001. Trying to engender sympathy, Hillary told Pauley that when the two airplanes hit the World Trade Center, her daughter Chelsea was at Battery Park near the towers.

"She'd gone for what she thought would be a great jog," Hillary said. "She was going down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee — and that's when the plane hit."

"She was close enough to hear the rumble," Pauley said.

"She did hear it. She did," Hillary said.

"And to see the smoke . . ."

"That's right," Hillary responded, saying she did not locate her daughter until two hours later.

"At that moment, she was not just a senator, but a concerned parent," Katie Couric said the next day on NBC's "Today."

It was a great tale, but Hillary had made it up from whole cloth. Her arrogance was so profound that she did not coordinate the story with Chelsea, who wrote an article for "Talk" in which she described what she had been doing that day.

According to Chelsea, she wasn't jogging at the World Trade Center. Rather, she was miles away in a friend's apartment on Park Avenue South. She watched the events unfold on TV. Hillary told the story with a straight face.

But Morris is wrong, and Kessler doesn't bother to fact-check him. According to Media Matters:

Clinton never said Chelsea was "jogging near the World Trade Center," as [Thomas] Kuiper [author of "I've Always Been a Yankees Fan," a collection of dubiously sourced purported Hillary quotes] in the press release. Rather, Clinton said Chelsea "was going to go around the towers." Dick Morris made this same false claim in Rewriting History, as Media Matters noted. Kuiper's claim from his book that Sen. Clinton said Chelsea "was in potential danger" is also false. At no point did she suggest that Chelsea was endangered by the attacks.
Moreover, Kuiper misrepresented Chelsea's account of the attacks in claiming that she "contradicted" her mother. From Kuiper's account of Chelsea's retelling of the attacks, one would believe she spent the entire day in her friend's apartment "on the other side of town" and that she did not go to get coffee. A November 9, 2001, UPI article, however, gave a different account:

"When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, I was 12 blocks away, (and) nothing has been the same since," Clinton wrote in the December/January issue of Talk magazine, on sale Friday in New York.

[...]

Clinton had been staying with her high school friend Nicole Davison in her apartment near Union Square for a few days in September before she went to England to study at Oxford. After they had coffee together, Davison went to work and Clinton returned to the apartment.

Davison called Clinton with the news of the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. Clinton turned on the television and watched the second plane crash into the second WTC tower, and tried to reach her mother in Washington, but after speaking to her assistant, the phone line went dead.

Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

Panicked, Chelsea Clinton left the apartment and found herself running toward downtown "in the direction everyone else was coming from," in search of a public telephone. She was desperate to call her mother and her father, who was on a speaking tour in Australia.

Chelsea Clinton was downtown in line at a pay phone when she heard the rumble of the second tower collapsing. Later she found Davison and another friend, and the three spent the day walking uptown. Chelsea Clinton wrote that she had an "irrational medley of thoughts" running through her head.

We figured that NewsMax would have problems telling the truth about Hillary. Who knew it would be starting so early? 

And another question: Now that Morris' anti-Hillary activism has been reported at NewsMax, does it think it's now absolved from reporting it every time Morris disparages Hillary (which, we can assume, will be often)? 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EST

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