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Once Is Not Enough

James Hormel gets borked again for the simple action of opposing John Ashcroft, and a serious accusation gets ignored.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 1/29/2001

Anyone who opposes John Ashcroft's nomination for attorney general is evil, the ConWeb tells us.

"They'll do whatever it takes -- including bribery, extortion and blackmail. That's what Ashcroft is up against today," wrote WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah in his Jan. 17 column. And he kindly expands on who "they" are: "Well, the entire media establishment, the Democratic Party and every professional activist miscreant under the sun."

What Farah and the rest of the ConWeb won't tell you, of course, is that conservatives are much farther ahead on "bribery, extortion and blackmail" than Democrats as they work to get Ashcroft confirmed.

ConWebWatch has already detailed WorldNetDaily's attempt to intimidate one group away from opposing Ashcroft by encouraging the IRS to investigate its finances, as well as NewsMax's blackmail prayer for embarassing information about the Clintons to be released to take the heat off Ashcroft.

Now, the ConWeb is in full borking mode against another Ashcroft opponent, James Hormel.

Hormel, you'll recall, had his nomination as ambassador to Luxembourg blocked by congressional conservatives because of his homosexuality. Then-President Clinton eventually made a "recess appointment" putting Hormel in the post.

When Hormel made statements on Jan. 24 opposing Ashcroft's nomination, the ConWeb went into action.

A Jan. 25 story doesn't even bother to list the specific reasons Hormel opposes Ashcroft's nomination. A NewsMax story Jan. 25 mentioned one reason -- that Ashcroft opposed Hormel's nomination because of his homosexulaity -- in an article that flatly states opponents are "the anti-religious left."

But the award for the most hysterical attack on Hormel goes to WorldNetDaily. A Jan. 26 story focuses on the fact that a conservative group called the Traditional Values Coalition distributed to every freshman senator a copy of a coloring book of female genitalia that is available in the collection of gay and lesbian materials that bears Hormel's name at the San Francisco Public Library.

(Why distribute the coloring book to just freshmen senators? The Traditional Values Coalition sent out copies to all members of Congress during Hormel's nomination battle, it proudly notes on its web site: "Little wonder that so few Senators felt that they could support the Hormel nomination after seeing this pornographic coloring book.")

The group gets caught in a lie, however, by insisting the coloring book is for children. The WorldNetDaily story quotes Ray Mulliner, vice president of the James C. Hormel Center, as saying the coloring book is "not available to children." The article further quotes a member of the San Francisco Public Library Foundation pointing out that Hormel has no involvement in the selection of materials for the collection.

A slanted Jan. 26 article covers much of the same ground while presenting no rebuttal to the charges made by the Traditional Values Coalition.

What the ConWeb has not questioned, however, is the other reason Hormel opposes Ashcroft: He lied about his relationship with Hormel during his confirmation hearing.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich writes on Jan. 20 that Ashcroft, during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that "Well, frankly, I had known Mr. Hormel for a long time. He had recruited me, when I was a student in college, to go to the University of Chicago Law School." (Hormel was an assistant dean at the school at the time.) When Rich contacted Hormel for a response, he responded that he did little recruiting in his job, doesn't recall "a single conversation with John Ashcroft," and has had no contact with him in the 30 years since.

Additionally, Rich writes, "Mr. Ashcroft didn't have the courtesy to respond to repeated requests for a meeting during Mr. Hormel's own confirmation process and didn't bother to attend Mr. Hormel's hearing before opposing him."

Not only has the ConWeb ignored this particular issue, much of the mainstream media has as well, and as yet no response regarding it has been made by Ashcroft or his supporters.

Indeed, Ashcroft seems to have a bit of a problem with the truth, as one web site documents. And the ConWeb that so castigated Bill Clinton for lying about sex has nothing to say when one of their own gets caught in his own lies. They're too busy trashing anyone who opposes them by any means necessary.

Makes one wonder who the real "miscreants" are.

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