Joe Conason probably knows more about the anti-Clinton scandal machine than anyone alive, and he's quick to catch the fine hand of Rupert Murdoch in the latest one:
Today’s New York Times reports that the paper of record — along with the Washington Post and Fox News — will follow “story lines” from a forthcoming book to be published by Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins imprint titled Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. Strange bedfellows, those two “liberal media” outlets and the Murdoch empire — except for the smoldering grudge that both newspapers have nurtured against the Clintons ever since their “Whitewater is Watergate” obsession crashed and burned almost 15 years ago.
Still, the partnership between HarperCollins, Fox News, and the nation’s two leading newspapers amounts to an open declaration of war in a presidential election, and the consummation of an alliance with a totally disreputable “news” conglomerate. This is the journalistic equivalent of the Hitler-Stalin pact — and a very disturbing decision by Times and Post executives.
The Times describes the paper’s agreement with author Peter Schweizer as “exclusive,” although it is hard to see how exclusive it can be if the Post and Fox are chasing the same accusations. The Times article also flatters Schweizer, a Breitbart contributor and former George W. Bush speechwriter, for the book’s “focused reporting.” Since the paper has agreed to promote Clinton Cash with that “exclusive” arrangement, however, it isn’t easy to accept at face value the judgment of the reporter, Amy Chozick, who was assigned to hype it.
And Media Matters publishes Peter Schweitzer's long, long record of distortion, lies and fabulism. Here's just one example:
Schweizer Retracted "Incorrect" Report About Sen. WhitehouseSchweizer Suggested Sen. Whitehouse Committed Insider Trading. As The Providence Journal noted, Schweizer alleged in his 2011 book Throw Them All Out that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) benefited from a stock sale because of his position in the U.S. Senate:
Schweizer's overall case is that members of Congress enjoy deep access to valuable inside business information that they, unlike other citizens, can legally exploit for personal benefit, such as well-timed stock transactions.One episode in the book concerns a large volume of stock sales made by legislators in mid-September 2008, just after a private session in which top executive branch officials briefed congressional leaders on details of the unfolding financial crisis. The book notes that Whitehouse sold holdings in a financial stock at that time. That trade came amid the senator's largest volume of trading for that year.[...]Schweizer's other brief mention of Whitehouse concerned a regulatory agency's announcement on May 15, 2007, that Medicare reimbursements would be curtailed for Amgen's highly profitable drug Aranesp. Schweizer writes correctly that Whitehouse sold between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of Amgen stock on May 9 and asks whether he "knew anything" about the adverse regulatory action to come a week later."We cannot be sure," Schweizer writes in part. "But the timing seems too good to be true" because Amgen stock prices fell quickly. [Providence Journal, 11/19/11, via NewsLibrary.com; Google Books, accessed 3/30/15]
Journal: Schweizer's Reporting Was Wrong. The Journal noted numerous factual problems with Schweizer's allegations, including that Whitehouse wasn't a member of the committee in question at the time:
Whitehouse rebutted with three points. First, he said he didn't know about the trades because his financial adviser was empowered to make them unilaterally. Second, he wasn't present at the leadership meeting and he said he had no inside information to act on. Third, he suggested that defensive sales were the obvious strategy for a trader at that moment in 2008 because of such public crises as the fall of the Lehman Brothers securities firm.[...]But Schweizer writes incorrectly that Whitehouse sat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and hints that membership could have conferred access to information about the coming Medicare decision on Amgen's drug.Whitehouse was not a member of the health committee in 2007, although he joined it later.[...]Schweizer's account omits many months of very public findings and questions on Aranesp and another Amgen anemia drug which, according to independent biotech industry analysts, might have prompted investors to sell shares in the company at any number of points. Contemporaneous stock tips, agency statements and news accounts seem to establish, moreover, that it would not have required insider information to surmise that adverse regulatory action on Amgen's products was possible, if not probable. [Providence Journal, 11/19/11, via NewsLibrary.com]
Schweizer Retracted His Allegation Against Whitehouse. The author was forced to retract his attack against Whitehouse:
Whitehouse was not a member of the health committee in 2007, although he joined it later. If Schweizer had realized that, he was asked in an interview, would he have included Whitehouse in this passage of his book?"No, I probably would not have mentioned him," the author replied. Schweizer said he would correct the mistake. [Providence Journal, 11/19/11, via NewsLibrary.com]
They will do anything to keep a Democrat out of the White House. Don't forget!