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Do As We Say, Not As We Do: Part 2

Damn! They Broke The Embargo Before We Could Break It

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/1/2000

"Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff" start an August 21 story this way: "It's a long tradition with the Clinton-friendly press corps. Got a hot story that could damage the White House? Break it Friday afternoon while nobody's paying attention."

Never mind that this trick didn't originate with the Clintons; the Reagan and Bush administrations had a habit of releasing unfavorable (to them) information on Friday afternoon. George Bush pardoned several figures in the Iran-contra scandal just before Christmas 1992, another time when "nobody's paying attention." And they fail to note the very recent example of independent counsel Robert Ray releasing his report exonerating the Clintons in the so-called "Filegate" affair on a Friday afternoon.

Related article on ConWebWatch:

Part 1: Tabloid Trash Is Bad -- When It's About Republicans

Anyway, the article goes on to criticize the Associated Press for doing an article on "Sellout," the new book by David Schippers, the former chief House investigator in the impeachment of President Clinton, and releasing the story on a weekend. Why? "The book had been embargoed by publishing house Regnery till September 1," NewsMax notes.

But the real reason may be that a bit of their thunder was stolen. NewsMax has been promoting the book for weeks, even offering it for sale "much cheaper than Amazon.com," according to the link at the end of the article. (NewsMax has cooked up some sort of deal with Regnery, it appears.) AP jumping the gun on the book means that NewsMax loses the scoop factor.

And they admit as much. "With a leading wire service already covering the Schippers book, it will no doubt be deemed 'old news' when copies actually become available. ... As it was, none of the major New York dailies even bothered to carry the AP report -- rendering the release of one of the most important books in years a virtual non-event."

Then, the ethics card is pulled: "NewsMax.com got its advanced copy the same time the AP did. But we're respecting the Regnery embargo, and saving the real bombshells ... for a day when readers can actually access the book and read it for themselves." Meaning Sept. 1, the official release date, as noted earlier in the article.

Well, guess what? The lure of juicy tidbits got the better of NewsMax, so the next day -- the next day, mind you -- they broke not only the embargo but their own word and screamed: "Schippers Book Bombshell: Clinton Acknowledges Broaddrick Rape." (Which, by the way, is merely an alleged tacit admission of some undefined incident, not an explicit statement of any kind.)

Carl Limbacher (ditching the "staff" for this story) promises that Schippers "is able to shed light on areas of Clinton administration corruption yet to be explored by the media" in a story that contains not one but two links to NewsMax's "cheaper than Amazon" book deal.

(This, by the way, would be the same David Schippers who had both his wife and mistress in attendance during the impeachment hearings. But that report originated in a supermarket tabloid, so it can't be true. But Schippers, as NewsMax conspicuously notes, is a Democrat who voted for Clinton twice, so it must be true. I'm so confused.)

Perhaps Limbacher should instead shed some light on why he lied to NewsMax readers about the "embargo" and maybe explain the relationship between NewsMax and Regnery regarding the Schippers book.

Then again, only people who don't read NewsMax regularly would be surprised by the level of integrity the site practices. Sellout, indeed.

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