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Paying Money For Political Dirt? We're Shocked -- Shocked!

In attacking Larry Flynt, NewsMax conveniently forgets how handsomely the purveyors of Clinton sleaze were paid (not to mention the money it's making off of them).

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/29/2000

NewsMax cranks up the false indignation in a Sept. 16 article about pornographer Larry Flynt hurling around allegations that he is assembling proof that a woman aborted George W. Bush's child some 30 years ago.

Yes, Flynt "was out smearing and slandering Bush", the article tells us, "throwing mud at Bush in a clear effort to intimidate Bush."

For those who know about NewsMax, the article, by "Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff," contains some real howlers in their criticism of Flynt, like this paragraph: "The Hustler chief seemed unconcerned about maintaining any pretense to journalistic objectivity, telling (talk show host Alan) Colmes at one point that the GOP presidential hopeful is 'a snot-nosed brat' who doesn't belong in the White House."

And what would NewsMax know about journalistic objectivity? They have called the Clintons and Al Gore much less objective things than "snot-nosed brat" ("Dirty Money-Honey Hillary," to cite just one recent example).

Flynt is also quoted as saying that his witness to the abortion, should she decide to come forward, would also confirm rumors about Bush's cocaine use. Carl and Co. then add: "Sounds like she also corroborate (sic) just about any other charges Flynt might dredge up -- you might too for a cool $1,000,000."

Waxing indignant over the idea of paying for dirt on political opponents ignores the entire history of the continual attacks on the Clintons over the past eight years. A lot of people have made a lot of money telling stories about Clinton. Many of those stories were exaggerated or completely false.

For documentation, we turn to "The Hunting of the President," the book by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason. In addition to debunking many of the so-called Clinton scandals and their accusers, they document the paydays some of these accusers cashed for their work.

Let's look at some of them:

Christopher Ruddy and Pat Matrisciana: Ruddy, of course, is NewsMax CEO and Richard Mellon Scaife's favorite reporter. Matrisciana operated Jeremiah Films and its non-profit front organization, Citizens for Honest Government, which produced "The Clinton Chronicles," the questionable 1994 video that purported to detail Clinton's alleged Arkansas crimes marketed by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in late-night infomercials. And along with Ruddy and Accuracy in Media, he made a video called "The 60 Minutes Deception," an attack on the TV show for debunking Ruddy's book on the Vincent Foster case.

Ruddy and Matrisciana jointly held an bank account that one point in 1997 contained roughly $3 million. Lyons and Conason don't venture to say where the money came from, but one possibility is that it appears to be profits from video sales, donations to Citizens for Honest Government and cash infusions from Scaife.

Larry Patterson: Former Clinton bodyguard in Arkansas who was an early source of reports about Clinton's womanizing. Lived rent-free in a house owned by Cliff Jackson, lawyer and, according to the book, "professional Clinton hater." Made, along with Jackson and Perry, $40,000 from a single fund-raiser sponsored by CPAC. Early on in the "Troopergate" affair, he received a check for $6,700 from conservative investment banker Peter Smith. Then, of course, there's Patterson's undoubtedly monetary relationship with Ruddy and NewsMax to sell tapes of Clinton dirt.

Larry Nichols: Arkansas politician with a grudge against Clinton. Made at least $89,000 -- he claimed $150,000 -- from sales of "The Clinton Chronicles." Nichols and Patterson also made up to $1,000 per appearance on the far-right lecture circuit.

Parker Dozhier: Bait shop owner who was the Arkansas connection in the Scaife-funded $2.4 million "Arkansas Project," an operation by the American Spectator magazine to dig up dirt on Clinton. An initial $1,000 "consulting fee" on the "Arkansas Project" led to a $1,000-a-month stipend and $800-a-month rent on a house used by American Spectator reporters working on the project.

Jane Parks: Widow of a slain security-firm owner whose son blamed his death on Clinton. $22,000 for her part in "The Clinton Chronicles."

"Justice Jim" Johnson: Segregationist with a grudge against Clinton. A new pickup truck for his role in "The Clinton Chronicles."

Paula Jones: Aside from her share of the $800,000 Clinton paid to make her go away, she received $100,000 from fund-raiser Bruce Eberle for the right to use her name in fund-raising appeals. She received only $1,000 for appearing in "The Clinton Chronicles." (More than $200,000 was paid out to individuals featured in Matrisciana's anti-Clinton videos between 1994 and 1996.)

Gennifer Flowers: Testified during a deposition that she has pocketed more than $500,000 since going public with her allegations of an affair with Clinton.

This is a highly incomplete list, merely a few examples taken from one book.

You'd think that if there were anyone who should know better than to attack people's motives in digging up political dirt, it's Christopher Ruddy. His NewsMax does it regularly -- when it comes to the Clintons and Democrats, that is. He has promoted accusations by people with the same motivations as Larry Flynt -- hatred and greed. The difference here is that it's his own ox being gored (so to speak).

We know that NewsMax prints almost nothing bad about Republicans and almost nothing good about the Clintons. For them to suddenly declare themselves a beacon of objectivity and honest reporting is ludicrous.

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