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Thursday, January 19, 2006
NewsMax Betrays Lee, Confederacy to Attack Clintons
Topic: Newsmax
A Jan. 18 NewsMax article begins this way:

When Hillary Clinton used her Martin Luther King Day tribute to accuse Republicans of running Washington like an Old South "plantation" - she knew whereof she spoke.

In fact, when Hillary and Bill ran Arkansas, Dr. King didn't even have a holiday in his honor - at least not all to himself.

Instead, Arkansans celebrated a combination holiday that honored both King and Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who fought to allow the South to keep blacks enslaved.

But NewsMax has previously run a whole passel of articles praising Lee, including tributes on Lee's birthday for three years:

-- Let America not forget January 19, 2005, the 198th birthday of General Robert E. Lee. -- Calvin E. Johnson Jr., Jan. 19, 2005 (a version of this commentary also appeared Jan. 18, 2004, and Jan. 18, 2003)

-- Lee has taken a beating in recent years. Because he fought for the Confederacy, his image is being removed from public places all over the South, as a symbol of "hate" and "racism." Yet a remarkable book called "Robert E. Lee on Leadership" by H.W. Crocker III has convinced me that "Marse Robert" would have been the first to protect innocent Muslims on the streets of New York. ... Lee was a terror to his enemies. In battle after battle, he routed well-fed, well-equipped federal forces two and three times the size of his own starving, threadbare army. Yet, like George Bush today, Lee was criticized for being too soft on the enemy. ... It is time to replace Lee's portraits, wherever they have been taken down, time to restore Marse Robert to the schoolbooks, and to honor him as the great American he truly was. -- Richard Poe, Nov. 8, 2001

-- Some of the witless anti-Ashcroft rhetoric has bordered on the absurd. One of his critics, for example, expressed horror at Ashcroft's alleged kind words about Robert E. Lee and T.J. Jackson. Imagine, finding something good to say about Stonewall Jackson, a man so sunken in depravity that his motto was "Duty is mine, Consequences are God's." -- Phil Brennan, Jan. 10, 2001

NewsMax also decried as "plantation politics" the fact that then-Gov. Bill Clinton signed a law in 1987 that says the top blue star in the state flag symbolizes the Confederacy. But a November 2003 NewsMax "Insider Report" approvingly cited a book on the South and the Confederacy as evidence of Clinton's political acumen on the issue:

Bill Clinton, the smartest Democrat in a generation, knew better than to go anywhere near the issue, quietly declining all suggestions that he remove the Confederate motif from Arkansas' state flag. As Clinton recognized, Yankee moralizers are no more welcome today than were the carpetbaggers of 142 years ago.

Is NewsMax really changing its mind about the Confederacy, a cause still embraced by many of its conservative readers? Or is it just temporarily setting aside its principles in order to push yet another smear against the Clintons?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 PM EST

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