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Thursday, October 6, 2011
Newsmax's Kessler: Don't Believe Suskind's Obama-Bashing Book
Topic: Newsmax

Unlike the Media Research Center, which flip-flops on the veracity of author Ron Suskind depending upon the party of the president he's writing about, Newsmax's Ronald Kessler maintains a little intellectual consistency. From Kessler's Sept. 26 Newsmax column, headlined "Don't Trust Suskind's New Obama Book":

When reputable publishers bring out books with sensational revelations, it’s hard for the public to discern which books are credible and which mix fact with fiction.

Here’s a handy guide: You can bank on what Bob Woodward says in his books. Ron Suskind's new book, “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” is being repudiated by key Obama administration people he interviewed.

Kessler goes on to receite some of the same criticisms the MRC did about Suskind's books on the Bush administration, then points out criticism from "Obama administration officials who say they never told Suskind what he attributed to them.

Kessler closes with an unflattering comparison:

In that respect, Suskind mimics author Kitty Kelley. Like Suskind, Kelley engages in prodigious research and interviews primary sources. But then she adds a novelistic touch. In her book “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” Kelley claimed that Laura Bush was “known in her college days [at Southern Methodist University] as a go-to girl for dime bags of marijuana.”

“If she was the go-to, I missed that,” Pamela Nelson, her Theta Kappa Alpha sister at SMU, told me for my book “Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady.” “I was there. She was the go-to for a lot of things that were uplifting.”

Kelley attributed the claim to Robert Nash, identified as an Austin public relations executive who was a friend of “many” in Laura’s SMU class. Tracked down by Alan Murray of The Wall Street Journal, Nash said that he did not know any of Laura’s SMU classmates. He said he merely told Kelley he had heard a rumor about Laura selling dope.

Kelley went on to claim that after Laura and George Bush married, they would visit Jane Purucker Clarke, one of Laura’s sorority sisters, and her boyfriend Sanford “Sandy” Koufax, the former baseball star, on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and attend “heavy pot-smoking parties.” But Jane Clarke had not met Koufax at the time and was married to John Clem Clarke, the artist.

“The Kitty Kelley story is a lie,” Jane Clarke said.

If Ron Suskind emulates Kitty Kelley, he also fails as a novelist. Good novels are believable.

Ouch. It many be mean, but it's also intellectually consistent. Too bad the MRC is much more interested in following the prevailing winds of partisan politics than exhibiting any intellectual honesty.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 AM EDT

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