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Sunday, October 22, 2006
Behind the Kennedy-KGB Claim

An Oct. 20 article by Kevin Mooney plays up a claim in a new book that in the early 1980s, Sen. Edward Kennedy "offered to assist Soviet leaders in formulating a public relations strategy to counter President Reagan's foreign policy and to complicate his re-election efforts." But not only does Mooney make any apparent attempt to contact Kennedy (or anyone else) for a response to the claim, he fails to disclose the background of the book's author.

Mooney describes Paul Kengor, author of "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism," only as "a political science professor at Grove City College." But he's much more than that: as the title of the book suggests, he's a Reagan hagiographer. Kengor authored the 2004 book "God and Ronald Reagan," which purports to describe "the role Reagan's personal spirituality played in his political career, shaping his ideas, bolstering his resolve, and ultimately compelling him to confront the brutal -- and, not coincidentally, atheistic -- Soviet empire." Kengor also wrote the similarly themed "God and George W. Bush."

Kengor is also executive director of Grove City College's Center for Vision & Values, a think tank and policy center that claims as a goal "advancing freedom with Christian scholarship" and "presupposes that God is sovereign, that man is made in the image of God and is therefore of inestimable and eternal value, and that the God of the Bible is the indispensable starting point for understanding truth."

Kengor has written numerous pro-Bush, pro-Republican and anti-Democrat op-eds, such as a Dec 19, 2005, article that calls Bush "a proven visionary, one that history will not be able to deny," the New York Times "the Grand Central Station for liberal enmity toward the president," and claims that the Times' reporting on the Bush adminstration's warrantless domestic spying program was evidence of "a vast left-wing movement to get George W. Bush." An Oct. 20, 2005, aricle complained that conservatives who opposed failed Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers "are likely losing a wonderful opportunity to undercut Roe v. Wade."

As a conservative loyalist, Kengor certainly has the motivation to promote claims that make Democrats look bad. 

Further, Mooney's article offers no evidence that the letter claiming Kennedy's offer to the KGB has been authenticated by Kengor or anyone else (the KGB did have a history of fabricating evidence). As CNS writers often do for conservatives, Mooney apparently accepted Kengor's claims at face value. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:32 PM EDT

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