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
Who's the Bastard?

The main accusers in the Hillary slur case have serious credibility problems. But NewsMax won't tell you that because they're too busy making money off one of them.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/22/2000

NewsMax is a pretty happy group of fellas right now. They have been flogging accusations that Hillary Clinton used an ethnic slur for a while now, and are no doubt pleased that the story was able to leap beyond the ConWeb ghetto into the "mainstream" media.

NewsMax has provided what might look like saturation coverage of the controversy on its site, but it is merely repetitive Hillary-bashing.

Case in point No. 1: A July 20 story alleging that Hillary Clinton "encouraged prominent Jews to lie to reporters" about the incident and passed along "talking points on how to trash Paul Fray" and others. Nowhere in the article does it say what specific "lies" were to be told or what constituted "trashing" of Fray. But that's typical NewsMax reportage; there is no such thing as exculpatory evidence about the Clintons as far as NewsMax is concerned.

Case in point No. 2: NewsMax actually leads another June 20 story with George W. Bush defending Hillary against the accusations, then undercuts him by pointing out "similar" allegations against Bush. Conspicuous by its absence: any mention of Bush's missing year from the Texas Air National Guard.

In all of these stories, one crucial element is missing: the backgrounds of the people making the accusation. There are all sorts of reasons to doubt the main accusers, Paul Fray, Dick Morris and Larry Patterson. And NewsMax isn't going to go into much detail about them because, well, they don't come off very well.

Let's take a look at our panelists, shall we?

Paul Fray

Fray was the target of the alleged 1974 "(expletive) Jew bastard" comment. As an Associated Press story points out, Fray "can no longer practice law because someone paid him to alter a court document and he surrendered his law license to the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1980. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that led to seizures, addiction to prescription pain killers, erratic behavior and memory loss, according to court records. He wrote a letter to Clinton begging her forgiveness for saying things about her 'without factual foundation.'"

NewsMax says nothing about Fray's letter or his disbarment, but briefly mentions his memory problems, buried deep in a story and cited as evidence that "the White House and its media allies" was trying to "discredit" Fray.

Author David Brock says in the July 20 New York Times that he interviewed Fray and his wife in 1995 for his book, "The Seduction of Hillary Rodham," who said nothing then about the alleged slur. Two other authors of Clinton tomes, Gail Sheehy and David Maraniss, report the same thing, according to the New York Daily News.

Additionally, Sheehy says that Neill McDonald, another witness to the alleged slur, "told me he didn't hear it," the Daily News reports.

Newsday columnist Marie Cocco points out that Brock recounts in his book why the argument started: Hillary and Fray's wife were protesting a plan by Fray to swing Bill Clinton's unsuccessful 1974 bid for Congress by bribing officials to rig absentee ballots. David Maraniss goes into further detail in his book, "First In His Class."

And the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette quotes Drew Ponder, another former campaign aide, as saying Fray "was dissension personified. ... He has no credibility with me."

The Media Research Center, meanwhile, is offended that Geraldo Rivera dared to question Fray's credibility at all. However, the MRC doesn't bother to print Fray's response to the question, instead referring to the diversionary tactic of comparing Fray to President Clinton.

Dick Morris

Dick Morris, who has been pushing allegations of slur-mongering for several months now, gets in his licks as well, telling Fox News that he that he has no doubt she uttered the ethnic slur.

This would be the same Dick Morris who, according to New York Observer columnist Joe Conason, in his 1997 book "Behind the Oval Office" describes Hillary "as warm, decent, sincere and sensitive, a tireless crusader for children and an excellent wife and mother." Morris also recounts the first lady's numerous kindnesses to his aging (and Jewish) parents, Conason adds, and that she "was a major support in my grief" when his mother was dying.

Larry Patterson

Then there's paid NewsMax shill Larry Patterson, former Clinton bodyguard. Why "paid shill"? Because NewsMax is using him in a money-making venture.

In addition to providing NewsMax with "exclusive" scoops -- which usually connotates some sort of monetary arrangement -- NewsMax is selling a two-hour tape of an interview of Patterson by NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy, advertised on every NewsMax story that includes Patterson comments. This kind of business partnership -- there's no reason not to assume Patterson isn't getting a piece of the action from this -- is frowned upon in legitimate journalism (though common among gossip tabloids) because it leaves the taint of a source making up sensational allegations just to get his paycheck.

And it's a smaller paycheck these days: NewsMax has dropped the price of the tapes from $19.95 to $14.95.

The tape promises some to answer some tantalizing questions like "Did Bill Clinton use illegal drugs?" and "Patterson explains why he believes Vince Foster was murdered."

Well, that can be answered in Patterson's own words from his deposition in the Paula Jones case, as quoted by Conason and Gene Lyons in their book, "The Hunting of the President": "At no time have I ever said that Bill Clinton's ever been involved in any murder, or at no time have I ever said that Bill Clinton has ever used or abused drugs. ... I have no reason to believe that."

It wouldn't be the first time Patterson has made money from his Clinton connections. Jeffrey Toobin, in his book "A Vast Conspiracy," writes that Patterson signed a contract brokered through Clinton-hater Cliff Jackson promising him a job paying $100,000 for seven years in exchange for his Clinton information. Jackson added that if there were any questions about the deal, they could be cleared up by talking to then-Sen. Bob Dole.

Lyons and Conason note that Patterson "was said to harbor a grudge" against Clinton "for going to Washington without setting (him and a fellow state trooper) up in federal jobs" and because he didn't push a bill funding a state police lobbying group Patterson had helped to found through mandatory dues from state troopers' paychecks.

Lyons and Conason also quote Patterson's former supervisor as saying Patterson's "mentality and objective in life was to sleep with as many women as he could. You could not have a conversation with Larry Patterson more than five minutes that sex didn't enter into it and whose britches he was trying to get in. ... If Bill Clinton had a meeting with a woman behind closed doors, Larry assumed it was for the purpose of sex, because that's what it would have been if he had been there."

* * *

These are the folks accusing Hillary Clinton of uttering an ethnic slur.

NewsMax has proved with their one-sided coverage and monetary links to a source that they have once again bastardized journalism.

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