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Monday, May 15, 2006
Double Standard on Scandalous Behavior
Topic: Media Research Center
A May 11 item by Tim Graham at the MRC's Times Watch attacks a New York Times article for reporting on the seamy details of the personal life of the leading Republican contender for Hillary Clinton's New York Senate seat, John Spencer. Graham plays the MRC's version of the Clinton Equivocation, claiming that the Times gave Bill Clinton a pass in the 1992 presidential race when Gennifer Flowers made her allegations public.

Graham insists that while the behavior of Spencer -- who, strangely, Graham does not actually name in full in this item, referring only to "Mr. Spencer" -- is not the issue, though he does aver that "New York Republicans can and should wince at Spencer’s personal life." Rather, Graham insists, "the issue here is the shifting standards of the New York Times, depending on which side of the civility divide the Clintons are placed."

Graham seems to ignore that much of the seamy Clinton allegations were peddled by political enemies or gold-digging ex-paramours, while in Spencer's case, the person pushing them is a fellow Republican, his opponent KT McFarland. We don't recall any of Clinton's Democratic opponents making similar attacks on him in 1992.

Additionally, in showing that he has no qualms about using scandalous behavior against a political opponent when it suits him, Graham takes a whack at Ed Rollins, a McFarland adviser, noting "the irony of Mr. Rollins throwing around the adultery card, considering he was the Hillary in his own publicly documented marriage meltdown."

Are we sure Spencer's seamy personal life isn't the issue? Given Graham's eagerness to change the subject, perhaps it is.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT

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