Posted on | September 16, 2010 | 41 Comments
Back in 1996, when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s finances were being investigated, O’Donnell complained that people were on a witch hunt to find anything to get Gingrich, instead of paying attention to serious ethics scandals — like putting Bill Clinton on trial for the supposed murder of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster. . . .
O’Donnell was squarely in the conspiracy camp back then.
Which is a flat lie, according to O’Donnell’s actual remarks, provided in the transcript of the C-SPAN program which the same blog quotes at length:
I think it’s very interesting that President Clinton has come on a lot more charges and a lot more serious charges than what Newt Gingrich is being charged on, yet we’re not making as big of an issue, we’re not forcing that he go to trial . . . We’re not giving people like Paula Jones a fair trial, we’re not giving the case of Vincent Foster a fair trial — when there is a lot more empirical evidence that Clinton is involved in wrongdoing. . . .
Well, I think people are out on a witch hunt for Newt Gingrich . . . They’re just seeking anything to bring against him, because if you look at the charges, failing to seek legal advice on his tax exempt status. By no means am I dismissing the charge, but when you look in comparison, the beast of Whitewater that Bill Clinton is involved in and the little attention that that is getting, and the little serious investigation that that is getting.
Bill Clinton is charged of — for much more serious accounts of fraud than a mistake that Newt Gingrich got in. If you examine almost anybody’s tax records you can find something to charge them on. I hate to admit, but taxes are very complicated, so you can find something to bring almost anybody.
And then there’s also the issue of murder with Vincent Foster. That’s a much more serious charge than failing to seek legal advice, and yet we’re all just blowing that off, and everybody’s trying to focus on Newt Gingrich like a witch hunt, to bring him to the stake and burn him, because they don’t like the policy that he’s behind.
Is Eric Kleefeld incapable of reading his own transcript? Speaking extemporaneously on live TV, O’Donnell said that “the case of Vince Foster” had not been given “a fair trial,” that there had been “little serious investigation,” and subsequently said that “the issue of murder with Vince Foster” was “a much more serious charge” than any accusation made against Newt Gingrich.
All of which was arguably true, and the views expressed by O’Donnell were very widespread among Republicans in 1996. She said nothing about a conspiracy and, indeed, did not even use the phrase “cover-up,” which was in common circulation at the time.
For 10 years, I had the great honor and privilege of working with one of America’s finest investigative reporters, Jerry Seper of The Washington Times. Jerry did about as much reporting on Vince Foster’s July 1993 death as anyone on the planet. Jerry fully agreed (as do I) with the final conclusion that Foster indeed committed suicide. However, the circumstances surrounding Foster’s death were certainly suspicious and news accounts of the case left many people unconvinced of the official police explanation. It was not until Kenneth Starr issued a definitive report in 1997 that these suspicions were laid to rest.
Starr’s report had not been issued when O’Donnell spoke in 1996 of “the issue of murder” in connection with the Foster case. It would have much better if she had said “allegations of murder” or the “question of murder.” Given that she was speaking in a live-TV format, however, her somewhat awkward phrasing cannot fairly be construed to mean that O’Donnell was herself making such an allegation, much less that she was “in the conspiracy camp.”
So we see that, as in other instances, O’Donnell’s critics have seized upon her long-ago words, wrenched them out of context and interpreted them in the worst possible light. Note that O’Donnell’s defense of traditional Christian moral beliefs have been given this “gotcha” treatment by the same progressives who scream bloody murder if anyone makes reference to Barack Obama’s association with Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright or with Bill “Weatherman” Ayers.
Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo tries to paint Christine O’Donnell as being “in the conspiracy camp,” but he is utterly silent about his fellow progressives who, among much else, have claimed that Republicans “stole” the 2000 election in Florida, rigged Ohio voting machines for similar purposes in 2004, and invaded Iraq to pursue the interests of Halliburton, Big Oil and the “Zionist entity.”
Neither should we forget that longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal earned the nickname “Grassy Knoll” for his conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination, nor the “Fire Can’t Melt Steel” proclamations of prominent liberal 9/11 Truthers like the woman we should henceforth call The Other O’Donnell:
“I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. . . . Miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.”
— Rosie O’Donnell, 2007
You can’t accuse liberals of not having standards. They’ve got exactly two: One for them, and one for everybody else.