ConWebWatch story
ConWebWatch home About ConWebWatch ConWebWatch archive Letters to and from ConWebWatch Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches? Related links Buy books and more through ConWebWatch ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch

An Armed Raid on Hypocrisy

The ConWeb stages a show of force that brings back some seriously tortured logic on the taking of young Elian.

By Terry Krepel
Posted: 4/28/2000

You had to know that the ConWeb would go ballistic after the raid to take Elian Gonzalez, and by golly, they didn’t disappoint. They ratcheted up the hate and rhetoric and bulldozed pertinent facts, just as they accuse the “mainstream” media of doing.

NewsMax, of course, led the way, going so far as to issue an bile-filled “open letter” to its readers ending, of course, with a plea for money (guess they already spent their monthly allotment from Richard Mellon Scaife) to take out full-page newspaper ads “to expose the media’s lies and cover-up over Elian and the raid.”

The “open letter,” signed by NewsMax honchos Chris Ruddy, John LeBoutillier, Jack Thompson and Carl Limbacher, accuses the “establishment media” of trying to “deep-six” the story. Apparently all-Elian-all-the-time coverage is "deep-sixing" the story.

NewsMax's “evidence”:

-- The New York Times, USA Today and Time didn’t run what NewsMax calls the “storm trooper in Elian’s room” photo on their respective covers.

-- “Splashing a propaganda photo -- not taken by a journalist -- across TV screens and newspapers.” That, of course, would be the “happy Elian” shot of the boy with his father that NewsMax and others unsuccessfully tried to portray as faked.

-- Giving “little weight” to people who agree with NewsMax’s view of the raid.

That’s it. Nothing about the fact that the Miami relatives had no legal claim to Elian, the conservative principle of parental rights, or Lazaro Gonzalez’s statement of April 12 that the feds “will have to take this child from me by force.” And, of course, nothing about the photo that suggests the Miami relatives were lying about what happened during the raid.

And then the letter adds: “ is committed to telling the truth.”

For more on how NewsMax feels about “the truth,” let’s look at its response via a pair of articles to an April 27 Washington Post story on Donato Dalrymple, best known as the guy holding Elian in the “storm trooper” shot.

The first article is practically delusional, starting with its title, “Washington Post Trashes Dalrymple -- Larry Flynt Returns.” What does pornographer Larry Flynt have to do with the Elian case, you may ask. Well, we’ll get to that.

The article kicks off with much unsubstantiated ranting about how “the White House strategy of extortion and blackmail” resulted in the Dalrymple article. “The Post would have you believe that Donato ... is a liar, a womanizer, a weird dude and a publicity hound.”

NewsMax doesn’t bother to refute any of that, mind you. Instead, the article compares a statement Dalrymple made about Elian liking to lick his face to the “penis check” Elian’s grandmothers did on their visit to the U.S. (What is it about conservatives and penises? First they insist that the Clinton impeachment wasn’t about sex, then they want to talk about “distinguishing characteristics.”)

NewsMax finally gets around to actual evidence in the second article, alluringly titled "What the Washington Post Didn't Report About Donato Dalrymple." It quotes from the Post article Sam Ciancio, who along with his cousin Dalrymple rescued Elian from the Atlantic last Thanksgiving and who has since split with Dalrymple by advocating Elian’s return to his father, as saying that Dalrymple kept changing his views on Elian’s fate “to get on television and stay in good graces with the relatives.” This is contrasted with a statement Ciancio made in the Miami Herald April 7 saying that he “thought it unwise to move the boy from the home where he said he’s felt loved and comfortable.”

NewsMax neglects to report the sentences immediately following in the Herald story: “But if it comes to Elian leaving for Cuba with his father, Ciancio said he would want to get to know Juan Miguel Gonzalez. ‘If for nothing else but for myself, I want to meet him,” he said. “I just want to see who this child will be given back to.’”

Not quite the “flip-flop” NewsMax claims. Of course, NewsMax is all too willing to promote anything convenient to its cause, which we have proved is not “the truth” but in this case: "We want Americans to keep seeing the photo of the federal agent waving the machine gun at Elian." NewsMax, however, does not want Americans to see this photo.

Wonder if NewsMax is going to outline its own lies in its full-page ads?

Still wondering where Larry Flynt fits into all this? He doesn’t. NewsMax is telling a bald-faced lie. It’s just a cheap stunt to try to link Elian to past scandals. All “Carl Limbacher and the Staff” say about him, in the final paragraph, is: “ No doubt the Post will be publishing Larry Flynt’s next ad: $1,000,000 to anyone who has incriminating information on the Gonzalezes of Miami.” Too late; we already know about Lazaro Gonzalez’s drunk-driving convictions, as does NewsMax.

* * *

Meanwhile, the Media Research Council’s L. Brent Bozell III takes a similar hysterical tack in his April 25 column. Particularly hilarious is his attack on Eric Holder for using “inflammatory rhetoric” while -- in the same paragraph -- he calls Holder Janet Reno’s “hit man” and attorney Gregory Craig a “political prostitute.” Not inflammatory at all, eh, Brent?

Bozell also takes the view that the media is trying to bury the story and spread propaganda: “Over on CBS, Bryant Gumbel declares that ‘the Miami relatives never, never, ever recognized the right of the father to have custody of the boy,’ a line flatly contradicted by one of the negotiators who maintains the Miami family had done precisely that hours before the raid.” No word from Brent on why it took five months and many hours of negotiation for the Miami relatives to recognize this right, or why the rights of a father must be “negotiated.”

Bozell ends his column in dramatic fashion: “It’s an America I no longer recognize, and makes me ashamed to call myself an American.” Well, Brent, why don't you decide what you want to call yourself, and I’ll start a fund to send you there. Heck, I’ll even kick in the first quarter.

Send this page to:
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | links | shop

This site © Copyright 2000 Terry Krepel