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Thursday, August 2, 2007
Sheffield's Clinton Equivocation
Topic: NewsBusters

An Aug. 2 NewsBusters post by Matthew Sheffield takes your usual Clinton Equivocation-style attack, asserting that Bill Clinton's relationship with former CNN head Rick Kaplan is much more important and serious than Rudy Giuliani's relationship with Fox News head Roger Ailes, as detailed in a New York Times article, even though they are quite similar.

While recounting a long list of bullet points about Klein and Clinton, Sheffield would say only that Giuliani and Ailes "are friends and have done a few activities together," not mentioning that one of those activities involved Giuliani presiding over Ailes' marriage. Sheffield asserted that "Kaplan skewed coverage in favor of his friend," but he didn't note that the article's claim that Giuliani has appeared on Fox News more than any other presidential candidate.

Among Sheffield's bullet points of Kaplan's sins was that he "had been a political operative for a liberal presidential candidate before jumping to journalism," but Sheffield failed to note Ailes' history as a conservative political operative and media consultant for three Republican presidents before jumping to journalism.

Ignoring those points allowed Sheffield to claim that the only "dirt" the Times article had was that "Giuliani tried to get his city to carry FNC shortly after its launch when local cable monopoly TimeWarner, then in the process of buying CNN." What Sheffield fails to note: the Giuliani administration said it would broadcast Fox News on a municipal-run station, an action a federal judge blocked after calling it "special advocacy" to "reward a friend and to further a particular viewpoint."

In other words, your classic Clinton Equvocation double standard -- it's offensive to Sheffield when a Clinton does it, but not when a conservative does it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT

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