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With Friends Like These…

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In all the accusations of PBS’s liberal bias and the right-wing criticism of Bill Moyers, I never heard any mention of “Washington’s Other Scandal,” a 1998 Frontline episode, hosted by Moyers, that presented compelling and shocking evidence of campaign finance abuses in both parties, with a particularly sharp focus on Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.

The PBS synopsis of the program includes the following:

“In his 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton vowed to clean up the country’s campaign money system. However, in his 1996 re-election campaign, he ran one of the most reckless fund-raising operations in the history of American politics. The story is told through candid interviews with former Clinton political consultant Dick Morris, former White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes and former DNC Chairman Donald Fowler all of whom were caught up in the fundraising frenzy. In addition, this FRONTLINE report uses White House videotapes – never meant to be seen by the public – to reveal the private conversations at intimate fundraising dinners and the infamous White House coffees.”

Of course, Republican campaign finance abuses came under the program’s scrutiny as well, which may explain why Kenneth Tomlinson and his ilk would prefer to keep this excellent bit of TV journalism under the rug.

(Also available at brhubart.blogspot.com)

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About Bob Rhubart

  • Agreed on all points and huh yeah, trust that gut reaction.

  • Jeliel,

    You’ll get no argument from me on the utter smarminess and underhandedness of the Bushies and elements of the far right. While they do indeed represent the dominant and most visible element of conservative politics, they don’t represent every Republican or every conservative. Similarly, neither Hillary Clinton nor Al Franken represent every liberal Democrat. (For the record, I like Al, and admire his passion, even if I don’t always agree with his ideas. As to Hillary, I just don’t trust her, though that’s purely a gut reaction.)

    Few political, social, moral, or economic issues are so simple that they can be boiled down to a simple binary. Stereotypes are expressions of binary thinking — if you’re not this then you must be this. That’s counterproductive.

    If we are ever to make any progress in this country we must move past ideologies and get down to rational, reasoned consideration of solutions to our problems. No individual, and no single party has all the answers.

    Frankly, I think politics is far too important to be left to politicians.

  • Baronius

    Have you heard about the FBI investigation initiated by the president’s staff during the campaign? A presidential aide asked the deputy director of the FBI to investigate the opposition for homosexual activity. This was supposedly on the direct orders of the president. Can you imagine the smear tactics that campaigns resort to, and how illegal it is to use the FBI as an “opposition research” office. All in an effort to force people out of the closet and embarrass a candidate.

  • Bob Rhubart, I ask you on what stereotypes are based on to begin with? Hearsay? I’m not saying liberals are clean cut all American boys, because I’m not blind, but come on, just look at everything that is going on.

    Just look at what Junior did to discredit Sheehan, with his little tear-jerking patriotism inducing story about the mother, Tammy Pruetts, who sent her 4 kids to war. Junior went on to say the following:

    “Tammy says this — and I want you to hear this — ‘I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country’. And I guess you couldn’t ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in. America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts.”

    He subtly, in a read between the lines manner, says that Sheehan isn’t a patriot aka a good American. If that isn’t character assassination, I don’t know what is.

    I’m not stereotyping more than I am just pointing at a rock and calling it a rock. The lengths the cons will go to win at all costs (The goal isn’t even important anymore, only the winning) is insulting.

  • Nick Jones

    Sorry, I’ve just known this for so long that I forget that other folks haven’t yet discovered this.

  • Jeliel:

    Left or right, stereotyping only exacerbates the situation. I don’t agree with all liberals, and I don’t disagree with all conservatives.

    Nick Jones:

    PUH-lease! I was shocked by the evidence, not by the knowledge of political chicanery, and it ain’t just on the national level.

  • Nick Jones

    You’re just now learning that the politicians of both parties, at least on the national level, are bought and paid for? Do more reading.

  • It’s because whoever doesn’t agree with, or questions conservative ideology, is labeled LIBERAL or UNPATRIOTIC and will undergo CHARACTER ASSASSINATION. Pure and simple. The cons don’t put much thought, big suprise, into this labeling system. It’s been their MO from the start.