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The Real Problem With Ed Klein's Hillary Book

The Real Problem With Ed Klein's Book

By Editor Sam Smith

ONE ONLY NEEDS TO READ a chapter or two of Ed Klein's book on Hillary Clinton to understand the problem. It is written by - and in the style of - someone who has contributed to both Parade Magazine and Vanity Fair, two of the most unnecessary publications in the land. It is Walter Scott and Dominic Dunne go to Arkansas.

The real crime in the eyes of the establishment, however, is not the style but the target. After all, Vanity Fair feeds off of the same class that is so upset about the Klein book. Clintonistas are big Vanity Fair readers. But when you come right down to it, it is little more than Parade Magazine for the college educated. A sterling investigative journalist once went to the monthly with a major scoop. It was rejected on the grounds that Vanity Fair does not do "substantive stories."

No, Klein's real crime was applying the accepted standards of Vanity Fair to a political icon of its readership and of fans so fanatical they rival those of Michael Jackson. And even during the latter's entire trial we never heard one of his critics described as a "Jackson hater." In the case of HRC's supporters, however, you are either with them or you "hate her," a dichotomy worthy of psychotherapy.

So, yes, the Klein book is trash journalism, but of precisely the sort people gladly accept when applied to movie stars and Donald Trump. It is only when the subject is a major political figure that the media and other establishment prudes come out in force because politics is their religion and if it were not so then they would have to admit that they hobnobbed daily with egomaniacal lowlifes rather than with sacred figures of American democracy.

If this were Britain, Klein would have no problem. The Brits take trash journalism in stride, implicitly understanding that it performs the democratic service of keeping a nation's leaders from taking themselves too seriously and the voters from following suit. One need only compare the coverage of Princess Diana and Saint Hillary to get the idea.

If we were to follow the British model, we might be able to bring our own monarchy into disrepute as well. Instead, the media has treated two of the greatest frauds in American political history - Clinton and Bush the Younger - as admirable and profound and wrapped them in a bubble of immunity from serious examination and criticism. And Hillary Clinton with them. In short, the media has been an unindicted coconspirator in a major fraud against the American people and their republic.

It began, in the Clintons' case, with a media-wide refusal to look seriously at what had happened in Arkansas, one of the most corrupt and drug-infested stats of the union, and in the Clinton machine that ran it. Instead, here are some of the early media messages on the Clintons:

- "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk way winners . . . Thank you very much and tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we're pulling for her." -- Dan Rather, talking with the Clintons via satellite at a CBS affiliates meeting

- "Roger Clinton's life is in some ways the story of any younger sibling clobbered by the spectacular success of the one who came before . . . If your brother is Christ, you have a choice: become a disciple, or become an anti-Christ, or find yourself caught somewhere between the two" -- Laura Blumenfeld, Washington Post

- "In the midst of redesigning America's health care system and replacing Madonna as our leading cult figure, the new First Lady has already begun working on her next project, far more metaphysical and uplifting.... She is both impersonal and poignant -- with much more depth, intellect and spirituality than we are used to in a politician . . . She has goals, but they appear to be so huge and far off -- grand and noble things twinkling in the distance -- that it's hard to see what she sees." -- Martha Sherrill, Washington Post

The real problem with Klein's book is that he wastes a lot of time on Hillary Clinton trivia without touching (or touching only lightly) on many of the major issues and conundrums, a number of them raising criminal questions. Even his coverage of the psychosexual HRC fails because he does not resolve or even illuminate such fascinating questions as how come alleged lesbian Clinton had an alleged affair with Vince Foster?

The Clintonistas say this is none of our business. But as your editor argued early in the Clinton administration, sexual behavior can be a window onto political landscape. For example, Clinton's Don Juan approach to sex was directly mirrored in his political infidelity to issues, principles and the truth.

Further, Clinton was accused of serial sexual abuse of women up to and including rape - women who had often been multiple victims: first as abused sexual partners and then as terrorized, bribed, or publicly trashed former partners. One even left the country to get away from it all.

Yet in one of the great gestures of political hypocrisy, the women's movement - having achieved all sorts of laws to prevent such occurrences in private business - dismissed the Lewinsky case as none of anyone's business even though Clinton's lying directly affected the right of another woman to receive a fair trial on her charges against the president. In one swoop, the women's movement announced, de facto, that sexual abuse by powerful male bosses didn't matter as long as it agreed with them politically.

Similarly, certain aspects of Hillary Clinton's life are politically and journalistically important even though they involve sex.

For example, before she is elected president, it would be good to know whether - as White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich has claimed - she and aides really did hang sexual ornaments on the presidential Christmas tree. Not a big deal to be sure, but somewhat in the same category of an Arkansas state trooper's claim that Bill Clinton had sex in the parking lot of his daughter's elementary school. Does one really want someone that graceless in the White House?

On a far more substantive matter, it would be enlightening to know more about Hillary Clinton's relationship with Vince Foster because - whether he was killed or committed suicide - he clearly didn't die at Ft. Marcey Park and HRC's behavior around the time of his death needs closer examination.

Less than three hours after Foster's body was found, his office was secretly searched by Clinton operatives, including Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff. Another search occurred two days later. Meanwhile, US Park Police and FBI agents were not allowed to search the office on grounds of "executive privilege." It will be reported later that Whitewater files were among those removed.

Foster's suicide note was withheld from investigators for some 30 hours. The note was in 27 pieces with one other piece missing. Foster's personal diary was withheld from the special prosecutor for a year despite being covered by a subpoena.

Jerry Parks, a Clinton security aide in Arkansas known to have been keeping dossier on Clinton, was gunned down two months after Foster's death in his car outside of Little Rock. Parks was shot through the rear window of his car and shot three more times, thru the side window, with a 9mm pistol. Parks ran American Contract Services, the business which supplied bodyguards for Clinton during his presidential campaign and the following transition. Bill Clinton still owed him $81,000.

Parks had also collected detailed data on Clinton's sexual escapades, including pictures and dates, perhaps for HRC. The night before Foster died, Parks' wife Jane says she heard a heated telephone conversation with Vince Foster in which her husband said, "You can't give Hillary those files, they've got my name all over them." Mrs. Parks also claimed federal agents subsequently removed files and computer from their house. And she said that upon learning of Vincent Foster's death, her husband told her, "I'm a dead man."

Thus do sex, politics and misdeeds intermingle. But there is plenty else Klein could have investigated but didn't - except sometimes with a passing mention. Such as the sudden reappearance of the Whitewater files, the dubious cattle futures deal, the scummy nature of the Whitewater real estate scam from the start, and the abuse of the White House travel office.

For example, shortly after moving into the White House Hillary Clinton and David Watkins moved to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, Clinton's source of fly-now-pay-later campaign trips. Little Rock Worldwide Travel had provided Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign trips. Clinton aide David Watkins boasted to a travel magazine, "Were it not for World Wide Travel here, the Arkansas governor may never have been in contention for the highest office in the land." In fact, without agency's dubious largess, the Clinton campaign might not have made it through the later primaries.

In order to get its friends the job, the White House fired seven long-term travel office employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, charged with embezzlement, was acquitted in less than two hours by the jury. An FBI agent involved in the case, IC Smith, wrote later, "The White House Travel Office matter sent a clear message to the Congress as well as independent counsels that this White House would be different. Lying, withholding evidence, and considering - even expecting - underlings to be expendable so the Clintons could avoid accountability for their actions would become the norm."

In short, there's still a good book out there for someone to write about Hillary Clinton. Ed Klein didn't do it.

Since 1964, Washington's most unofficial source
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