Keep history alive: There’s nothing we dislike quite like this time of the year.
On the other hand, fund-raising is necessary. For many years, we never asked. We’re kicking ourselves for that now.
As our fund-raising drive enters Day Two, we’ll link you to Gene Lyons’ new column at The National Memo. The column concerns Hillary Clinton, who you may not be supporting for president.
She isn’t our ideal candidate either. That isn’t the point of the column.
Lyons writes about the history of the Whitewater pseudo-scandal, which is being fancifully revived by Harper’s, of all publications.
Quite literally, Lyons wrote the book on the topic, Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater. In the part of his column shown below, he refers to Doug Henwood, the writer who revives the Whitewater foofaw in the current edition of Harper’s.
He also cites an important newspaper, the New York Times:
LYONS (10/22/14): For that matter, why am I bothering with Henwood?As Lyons notes, the New York Times “originated and sustained the Whitewater hoax.” The Times then played a leading role in what came next, the twenty-month war against Candidate Gore which sent George Bush to the White House.
Two reasons. First, personal disappointment that such slipshod work could appear in Harper’s. Twenty years ago, the magazine stuck its journalistic neck out to publish my article and book, Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater.
Second, because Henwood’s piece signals the inevitable return of what I call the “Clinton Rules.” Particularly when it comes to the couple’s background in darkest Arkansas, no allegation of wrongdoing, regardless of how conclusively disproved, has ever disappeared from the national news media.
That such shoddy standards have become well-nigh universal in American political journalism is no excuse. Because everybody involved back in 1996 understood that calling out The New York Times—which originated and sustained the Whitewater hoax—was a serious business, Harper’s actually dispatched a fact checker to Little Rock, where we spent several days bulletproofing the manuscript.
Clearly, no such effort went into Henwood’s essay.
Despite these facts and many more, it pains Lawrence O’Donnell to criticize the Times, a fact he restated this very week. Therein lies a remarkable tale.
It would be hard to overstate the code of silence which surrounds the workings of our political journalism over the past three or four decades. Lyons and his writing partner, Joe Conason, wrote two books on the Clinton-era part of this tale, Fools for Scandal (1996) and The Hunting of the President (2000).
At this site and at our companion site, we’ve chronicled where the virus went after that. As you may have noticed, we’ve done so to almost complete, total silence.
It isn’t just Lawrence! Everybody understands that these topics must not be discussed. In order to keep that discussion going, we’re asking for your support.
Tomorrow, we plan to bring Ben and Jerry, or possibly even Ben or Jerry, into this vital discussion. For today, we recommend the Lyons piece, however you feel about Hillary Clinton.
We’ll also ask for your support:
If you want to keep history alive, you can just click here.