Profiles in Hypocrisy: Volume Four
The ConWeb's claims about Clinton accusers, secret tapes and fairness in labeling once more defy the record.
By Terry Krepel
The latest from the front lines of hypocrisy on the ConWeb.
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The hypocrite: NewsMax.
Paul, as ConWebWatch has previously detailed, is a convicted felon who fled to Brazil to avoid prosecution in a $25 million stock manipulation scam, forcing a two-year extradition process. Now that he's back in the country, he has hooked up with that Clinton-hating group of attorneys known as Judicial Watch, accusing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of having knowledge regarding a 2000 fund-raiser that Paul hosted (and fellow convicted felon and WorldNetDaily author Aaron Tonken put together); former Clinton finance director David Rosen was recently indicted in connection with actions regarding the event.
Why it's a hypocrite (this time, anyway): NewsMax used to be much less forgiving of convicted criminals. Back in 2002, it used every opportunity to describe the person who won a $78 million legal judgment against then-California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon as a "convicted drug lord."
While NewsMax quotes the Times article quite accurately pointing out that Paul is "a smooth operator with myriad connections and a troubled past ... a well-connected figure with a checkered past ... [whose] law license was suspended after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession," it insists that the Times was "trashing" Paul in a "bid to discredit" him.
NewsMax also references Tonken in its article but, as with Paul, fails to tell its readers about his criminality. Tonken, of course, is currently serving a prison term for bilking celebrities and charities out of millions of dollars (as ConWebWatch has also noted).
NewsMax concludes by claiming: "No wonder Hillary's media friends are spinning so furiously." In failing to detail the criminal pasts of her accusers, NewsMax is performing an even more furious (and hypocritical) spin job.
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The hypocrite: Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily.
What he did: In a Feb. 19 article, he speculated on the motives of Doug Wead, who released tapes he had secretly recorded of President Bush. "Is it the revenge of Doug Wead? Or is it the self-immolation of Doug Wead," Farah writes, adding that "many are wondering what Wead was doing then and why he is releasing the tapes now" since Wead has recently written a book.
Why he's a hypocrite (this time, anyway): Farah wasn't terribly concerned about the motives behind another set of secretly recorded tapes -- made by Linda Tripp of Monica Lewinsky. "Tripp's 20 hours of covert tape-recordings provided the most tangible evidence of a sexual relationship between President Clinton and Lewinsky," Farah wrote in a February 1998 column. And in a April 1998 column, Farah blasted the American Civil Liberties Union for allegedly running ads "targeting Linda Tripp as the gravest threat to civil liberties facing the nation today because of her role in taping Monica Lewinsky's conversations."
No mention of any ulterior motives on Tripp's part, which involved a desire to get a lucrative book deal, as another set of secret tapes revealed -- those made of Tripp by her agent, Lucianne Goldberg.
It's yet another example, as with the question of printing unverified and untrue rumors, in which Farah's attitude toward a certain behavior changes depending on who's on the receiving end.
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The hypocrite: Randy Hall of CNSNews.com.
What he did: A Feb. 14 article continues CNS's labeling bias problems. Hall calls the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign "Republican-bashing activist groups," further claiming that they are "representing liberal blacks, pro-abortion feminists and homosexual activists." Meanwhile, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America are referred to merely as "conservative" groups.
Why he's a hypocrite (this time, anyway): Because over at TimesWatch.org -- like CNS, a division of the Media Research Center -- Clay Waters regularly points out similar labeling discrepancies at The New York Times, as he did on Feb. 16. The MRC's Brent Baker pointed out a labeling discrepancy at CBS in a Feb. 21 CyberAlert. And a March 1 CNS article quotes Dan Gainor, head of MRC's Free Market Project ("which tracks media coverage of economic issues"), praising a news organization for "labeling conservatives and liberals in a consistent manner. That might not sound like much, but it can truly skew a story."
Perhaps Waters, Baker and Gainor need to send notes down the hall to their CNS compadres advising them not to commit the journalistic crime they are railing against.