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Hullabaloo


Thursday, February 26, 2009

 
Gratitude

by digby

CPAC dispatch:

[John] Bolton’s speech was rather heavy on partisan politics. He asked a packed room to work to elect Republicans in special elections and 2010, something possible because “this is still a center-right country” and “the Democrats misinterpreted the vote that they got.”

And Bolton was overjoyed to be untethered from the Bush administration. Conservatives were stronger now, he said, because they didn’t have to defend George W. Bush. “Too many people identified the Bush administration with conservatism,” said Bolton. “I think that’s far from being accurate.”


Uhm:

During the George W. Bush administration, Bolton has been the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2001-2005) and U.S. Ambassador to the UN (2005)


And considering what he oversaw during his tenure, one can only assume that he's disappointed that he didn't get to start a nuclear war. That's pretty much all that's left on the conservative hawk wish list. But the man still has dreams, apparently.


Update: County Fair is collecting video highlights of the conference. Much hilarity all around. Jamison Foser writes that our old friend David Bossie introduced Newtie, and give a neat primer on Bossie's history.

I don't think Bossie gets the credit from conservatives he deserves. He was a huge part of their success in the 1990s. ( And the press should give him a bit wet kiss as well, as I wrote back in 2004:)

The press ate up Bossie's lies over and over again until there was no conclusion one could reach except that they just didn't care about the truth. The Whitewater psuedo-scandal and the seventy million wasted taxpayer dollars that flowed from it was driven by Bossie's operation and he remained a player in the Scaife funded character assassination plot for the entire Clinton administration. It's not as if the press didn't know from the very beginning with whom they were dealing because they were called to task for their stenographic use of Citizens United "press packages" all the way back in June of 1994 by Trudy Lieberman in the Columbia Journalism Review:

Bossie, the twenty-eight-year-old political director for Citizens United, a conservative Republican operation, runs an information factory whose Whitewater production lines turn out a steady stream of tips, tidbits, documents, factoids, suspicions, and story ideas for the nation's press and for Republicans on Capitol Hill. Journalists and Hill Republicans have recycled much of the information provided by Citizens United into stories that have cast a shadow on the Clinton presidency.

[...]

...Citizens United has collected thousands of facts and documents on Whitewater and packaged it all to catch the attention of the press and to restoke the story whenever it threatened to die down.

Bossie and Brown have been briefing people since October -- "the top fifty major publications, networks, and editorial boards," Bossie says. "We've provided the same material on the Hill both on the House and Senate side." An equal opportunity source, Bossie says he would gladly provide documents to Democrats, but they haven't asked.

Francis Shane, publisher of Citizens United's newsletter, ClintonWatch, hesitates to say exactly whom they've worked with -- "We don't particularly like to pinpoint people" -- but he does say, "We have worked closer with The New York Times than The Washington Times." Jeff Gerth, The New York Times's chief reporter on Whitewater, hesitated to talk on the record. He did say, "If Citizens United has some document that's relevant, I take it. I check it out like anything else

[...]

The March 1994 issue of ClintonWatch characterized the organization's impact on Whitewater press coverage this way: "We here at ClintonWatch have been working day and night with the major news media to help them get the word out about the Clintons and their questionable dealings in Whitewater and Madison Guaranty." Of course, Citizens United is not the only source of information on Whitewater. And reputable reporters do their own digging and doublechecking. Still, an examination of some 200 news stories from the major news outlets aired or published since November shows an eerie similarity between the Citizens United agenda and what has been appearing in the press, not only in terms of specific details but in terms of omissions, spin, and implication.

[...]


Whitewater is about character, publisher Fran Shane tells me. "The American people have elected a president with 43 percent of the vote. He is a man of no character. He may have to tell the people he didn't come clean. We're saying Bill Clinton may not be worth saving."

Many news organizations explain the importance of Whitewater in similar terms. Take Time, for instance. In a January 24 story laced with references to documents that also appear in Bossie's Whitewater collection, the magazine pronounced that "the investigation concerns the much larger issue of whether a President and First Lady can be trusted to obey the law and tell the truth."

The character issue can be turned on the press, which has shamelessly taken the hand-outs dished up by a highly partisan organization, with revenues of more than $ 2 million a year, without identifying the group as the source of some of their information.



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