Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Conason on Spikey Mikey

Frankly, Joe's too kind to him. In particular, here:

As a leading honcho in that posse, Isikoff insistently ignores arguments that might embarrass him now. An innocent reader of his review would think Blumenthal's only reason for doubting Whitewater was that Hillary Clinton claimed to be innocent. In fact, Blumenthal painstakingly dissects both the scandal allegations and the press coverage of those charges.

Spikey's deception goes slightly deeper than this. It is true that Blumenthal bases his early (and ultimately correct) rejection of the Standard Press Narrative of Whitewater on conversations with HIllary, it isn't true that his basis for doing so now has much to do with a conversation in 1994. Isikoff's claim doesn't simply ignore the later evidence, he also engages in a deliberate misrepresentation of Sid's book.

I've seen this trick elsewhere - such as when Maslin wondered how Blumenthal could claim that there were no "facts" to Whitewater, then subsequently argue it was his duty to communicate the facts to the press corps. The meaning is obvious - in the former Blumenthal is referring to the "facts" accepted by the press, the "facts" of the Clinton's guilt, and in the latter he's referring to their reality.

In any case, it's increasingly clear that Jeff Gerth has pictures of every single person in D.C.involved in some man-on-dog sex. I understand why they want to protect themselves, but the consistent desire to protect Gerth is downright creepy.