NewsMax: Bush Is A Liar
Given the choice of the president whose election they fiercely supported and a columnist for a conservative newspaper, guess who they pick?
By Terry Krepel
The ConWeb will go out of its way to make sure Bill Clinton is credited with nothing good.
Just how far will it go? It will barely acknowledge when their own Republican president, George W. Bush, says something positive about Clinton, and if it does acknowledge the statement, make sure it's undercut, downplayed -- or make Bush out to be a liar.
This is exactly what happened last week. On Feb. 12, President Bush absolved Clinton administration staffers over anonymous reports that they stripped Air Force One of anything not nailed down before Clinton stepped down.
"All the allegations they took stuff on Air Force One are simply not true," Bush was quoted as saying.
Given the zeal with which the ConWeb has pushed these allegations plus others about alleged vandalism of White House offices -- none of which are substantiated by a named source or any physical evidence of damage, as Slate's Joshua Micah Marshall points out -- a statement like this ought to have warranted some coverage.
Wrong. WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com ignored it competely. NewsMax linked to a story on the Baltimore Sun web site that included the quote. The Wall Street Journal buried it at the end of yet another of its anti-Clinton harangues. The Media Research Center noted it in its Feb. 14 CyberAlert, but tried to downplay its significance by alleging the comment was made "off-camera."
And the issue was dropped -- except by NewsMax. Unable to let any positive statement about the Clintons go unchallenged, even one made by a Republican president, it ran an article Feb. 15 quoting John McCaslin, the Washington Times columnist NewsMax credits with breaking the story, as refusing to retract it. "I'm standing by what I wrote right down to the stolen toothpaste," McCaslin told NewsMax.
NewsMax even does its share of sucking up to the conservative Times, calling McCaslin "widely read" and "popular."
Thus, it appears that the Washington Times has joined Judicial Watch and Fox News Channel as NewsMax's sacred cows, about which nothing negative can appear. NewsMax loves Fox News because of its conservative tilt and because it's about the only place NewsMax staffers get to appear on national TV; NewsMax has also downplayed Republican objections to Florida recount efforts because Larry Klayman and Co. are conducting their own recount there.
The ConWeb once again stays on message, and the message is that Clinton is a slimeball. Message is everything here, and evidence to the contrary be damned.
Conservatives, after all, protect their own -- even if they have to paint Bush as a liar to do it.