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Jailhouse Crock

NewsMax frowns upon suggestions that Tom DeLay belongs in prison, but its writers have wished jail time upon a certain former president.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 5/30/2005

NewsMax is extremely sensitive about any suggestion that House majority leader Tom DeLay belongs in jail.

As ConWebWatch has noted, it has previously complained that such a suggestion is inappropriate becuase "DeLay has not been charged, let alone arrested, in connection with any of the allegations touted by Democrats and their handmaidens in the media." NewsMax’s objections continue: A statement to that effect by U.S. News & World Report’s Steve Roberts was denounced in a May 23 article as "yet another sign that mainstream media bias has spun wildly out of control." And a May 22 article was annoyed that Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean "ticked off several unproven allegations” in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" though "the top Republican had yet to be charged with even a single crime."

As righteous as NewsMax as been about this, why, you'd think that no NewsMax article has ever suggested anyone -- say, certain people with the last name of Clinton -- be sent to prison though they have "not been charged, let alone arrested" for a crime.


Plug in the words "Clinton prison" into NewsMax's search engine, and the first article that pops up is headlined, "Bill Clinton Belongs in Prison!" It’s a May 2003 commentary by someone who calls himself Melrose Larry Green, a semi-regular NewsMax columnist; his NewsMax bio claims he is "best known for his numerous appearances on the Howard Stern show." Green's rant is so coherent that it doesn't support the headline; it's more of a love letter to NewsMax -- "thank you, Chris Ruddy, for opening my eyes!" -- and a distillation of what in most people's minds is the stereotypical Clinton-obsessed NewsMax reader.

Green makes the statement again in a June 2004 column, in which he claims that "I was carrying around a sign that read 'Bill and Hillary both belong in Prison'" outside of a Bill Clinton book signing. At the end, he wrote, "As Bill worked the crowd, I shouted right in his face the same choice words that I had on my sign, the same sentiments I express in my new book "Why the Clintons Belong in Prison."

Indeed, Green has written a book titled "Why the Clintons Belong in Prison," promoted on his personal web site. Green plugged the then-in-progress book in a July 2003 column in which he claimed: "I can guarantee you one thing: This book will once and for all prove conclusively that the Clintons both belong in prison!"

A December 2002 article by Charles R. Smith detailing allegations of campaign finance fraud against Clinton by one Mark Jimenez, a Philippine politician who -- in the grand NewsMax tradition of embracing convicted criminals who make charges against people named Clinton -- had been charged with 17 counts of making illegal donations to Clinton's 1996 campaign and of tax evasion. He pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion and one count of election fraud and was sentenced to more than two years and prison and a $1.2 million fine.

A subhead in Smith's article complains, "Jail for Jiminez [sic], Not for Clinton," followed by a lament that "Bill Clinton, however, will remain free unless Jimenez gives some damning evidence."

NewsMax also speculated in a December 2000 article whether President Bush would pardon President Clinton, even though "he has been convicted of no crimes -- at least not yet."

And, as ConWebWatch previously noted, though NewsMax looked askance upon a depiction of DeLay in a prison-style mugshot, a NewsMax writer heartily endorsed a depiction of Clinton as a registered sex offender.

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