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Good News Is No News

Does anything positive happen to the Clintons? You wouldn't know it by reading the ConWeb.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 6/8/2000

You might expect that their right-wing ties, NewsMax and WorldNetDaily would try to keep on top of news concerning the Clintons and their associates, whom the officials of these sites tend to consider the enemies of all that is traditionally American. And you'd be mostly correct.

The one area in Clinton scandal coverage where they fail regularly is when there is good news to be had about the Clintons. There, NewsMax and WorldNetDaily fall down on the journalistic job, doing as little work as possible -- if they do any work at all -- in reporting the story.

Take these recent examples.

On May 15, the Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct -- the same body that a week later would recommend that President Clinton be disbarred -- dismissed a complaint against Hillary Rodham Clinton. The complaint, filed by the conservative Landmark Legal Foundation, accused Hillary Clinton of drafting a document that was used to deceive federal bank examiners in a land deal involving convicted Whitewater figure Jim McDougal. The committee cited insufficient evidence.

Both NewsMax and WorldNetDaily ran stories when the complaint was filed. But neither ran a word on the dismissal.

On May 31, the Federal Election Commission dismissed two complaints against Hillary Clinton regarding a loan guarantee used by the Clintons to buy their house in New York. (The Clintons later abandoned this deal and chose a different way to finance the house.) The commission ruled that there was "no reason to believe" there was a violation. The complaints were filed by the Conservative Campaign Fund and a Pennsylvania resident named Jeffrey S. Smith.

NewsMax ran a story on the original complaint, while WorldNetDaily didn't. Neither ran a thing about the complaints being dismissed.

On June 5, former Clinton associate Webster Hubbell won a victory against former independent counsel Kenneth Starr when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an indictment against Hubbell must be dismissed because it was based on documents Hubbell was compelled to produce under immunity.

NewsMax ran a UPI story on it. WorldNetDaily ran nothing.

Conservative News Service blew off all three of these stories as well.

But they may not need to feel too bad about it. As American Politics Journal points out, the "mainstream" media ignored these stories, too. So if NewsMax and WorldNetDaily were looking for a way they could consider themselves on a level with the big boys, they have found it here.

Of course, until they learn to report a story fairly and properly follow up even when they don't approve of the outcome, few will take them seriously.

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