Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The horse sets the New York Times Book Review straight.

1) The Whitewater "scandal" has been shown -- with irrefutable evidence from impartial sources ranging from the Resolution Trust Corporation to the FDIC to the Office of Independent Council -- to have been a phony scandal from the very beginning, in which Bill and Hillary Clinton committed no wrongdoing, and for which no convictions have ever been brought against Susan McDougal.

2) Kenneth Starr and his prosecutors regularly and systematically abused the powers of the Office of Independent Counsel. The abuses included: Hounding witnesses, including Susan McDougal and Monica Lewinsky, to try and get them to lie; improperly and perhaps illegally coordinating their own activities with the right-wing "elves" connected (as Starr himself was) to the Paula Jones defense operation; and attempting to usurp the powers of the House of Representatives by issuing a report that called for President Clinton's impeachment.

3) The New York Times has never corrected its flagrantly erroneous and disproven reporting on the Whitewater matter. In the past, intentionally or not, the New York Times Book Review has contributed to the cover-up of this fact by assigning books critical of the Times's performance either to in-house Times reporters or to freelance writers lacking a basic working knowledge of the facts. At the very least, there is the appearance of a gross conflict of interest here, which is just as bad as an actual conflict of interest.

4) Henceforth, the TBR should show respect for history and the factual record by seeking reviewers who have both the expertise and the objectivity required to render a fair judgment on books concerning Whitewater, the events that led to President Clinton's impeachment and acquittal, and all related matters.

* Email a letter to Chip McGrath, editor of The New York Times Book Review, advising him of the four lessons to be drawn from the Lowry fiasco.

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