Whipping Out Another Conspiracy
How does the ConWeb cover sex scandals when it's a conservative doing the dirty deed? In a word, poorly.
By Terry Krepel
The ConWeb had the opportunity recently to prove that their main function in life is something in addition to digging up dirt on Democrats. They declined to take advantage of it.
Matthew Glavin, president and chief executive of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which has put its muscle (not to mention Richard Mellon Scaife's money) behind the effort to disbar President Clinton in Arkansas, was cited for public indecency after being caught fondling himself -- as well as an undercover officer -- in a Georgia park. After reports of a previous arrest on similar charges surfaced, Glavin resigned from the foundation, though he has denied the most recent charges.
Conservative News Service reported the initial story, but relegated references to his resignation and the previous offense to its "News This Hour" feature, which CNS doesn't appear to place in its archives.
However, CNS felt the need to throw in a erroneous conspiratorial bent to the story. Writer Lawrence Morahan reports: "Legal observers familiar with Glavin and his work ... questioned the lapse between the time the incident was alleged to have occurred and when the charges were brought against him four-and-a-half months later."
This is incorrect. Glavin was cited at the time of his arrest in May; his court appearance was set for early October, when the story broke. (The court date ended up being postponed.) There is no evidence that officials waited 4 1/2 months to file charges.
(Interestingly, while the Glavin affair was unfolding, CNS was reporting on another conservative sex scandal: John Paulk, chairman of the board of Exodus International, a ministry that "offers help to homosexuals who want to leave the gay lifestyle" as well as the manager of the Homosexuality and Gender Department within the public policy division of Focus on the Family, was observed at a gay bar in Washington, D.C. Paulk was later demoted and put on probation by the Exodus International board.)
NewsMax relied on CNS's account for its article, then made the incident seem even more conspiratorial by playing on the fact that Glavin was arrested by National Park Service officers since the offense occurred on federal property in a national park.
"Employees of the National Park Service, it should also be noted, are federal officers who work for the department of the Interior, an agency directly under the president. The agency has been highly politicized by the Clinton administration for years," the NewsMax article states, going on to recount the Park Service's actions in the Vince Foster suicide. Any follow-up to Glavin's resignation was handled with an outside link, so no reference to it resides in its archives -- just its conspiracy theory.
WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, did virtually nothing. It wrote no original stories on the issue; its only reference was a outside link on Glavin's resignation, meaning no reference to the Glavin affair exists on WorldNetDaily.
Why the kid-glove treatment for an offense that WND would have attacked if the perpetrator weren't a prominent conservative? Perhaps because Glavin and L. Lynn Hogue, head of the Southeastern Legal Foundation's legal advisory board and through whose standing as an Arkansas-licensed attorney the action against Clinton was filed, fed WND exclusive details of proceedings during the foundation's efforts to push Clinton's disbarment. (The relationship between WND and the foundation has been explored previously by ConWebWatch.) WND apparently thought so much of the scoops that it turned into a quid pro quo for Glavin.
The most important details of the Glavin affair will never reside in the archives of these organizations, depriving future researchers who may be under the illusion that sites like CNS, NewsMax and WorldNetDaily are repositories of everything conservative. They will be left with only spin and false conspiracies.
Instead of showing it could cover a story with the best of them regardless of who is involved, the ConWeb proved only that conservatives protect their own.