Friday, June 17, 2005

Ed Klein Rapes the National Discourse

Arianna Huffington
Ed Klein Rapes the National Discourse

You’ve probably heard -- because some people will print anything -- the allegations in Ed Klein’s latest piece of garbage, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President. The most trumpeted one is also the most outlandish, based on the kind of sourcing that would make Jayson Blair proud -- that Chelsea Clinton was conceived when Bill raped Hillary.

Some have already been asking what is going to fill the sleaze slot in the news now that the Michael Jackson Reality Show has had its season finale. Sadly, there’s a good chance it’s going to be filled by Klein. The real title of his book should be: The Truth About Ed Klein: What He Does, Who Helps Him Do It, and How Far He’ll Go to Make a Buck.

God knows I’ve had plenty of disagreements with Hillary -- especially on Iraq. But what Klein is doing is disgusting. It has nothing to do with Hillary’s politics -- and everything to do with feeding the right-wing sleaze machine.

This bears no relation to legitimate political reporting -- and should not be treated as such. In fact, if there’s a rape involved in this book, it’s Ed Klein’s attempted rape of the public discourse.

But with the help of bloggers (and as you’ll see from the links below, they’ve been at it already), Klein’s book can be seen for what it is: a sordid, slimy attempt to make a buck while helping advance a sordid, slimy political agenda.

So let’s look at some of the people behind this garbage machine. The book is currently being offered for free on if you buy a subscription to their magazine. One of NewsMax’s main investors? Richard Mellon Scaife, who funded the Arkansas Project, set up to try to destroy the Clintons in the 90s. NewsMax was also behind the ugly smear campaign against George Soros.

Klein was interviewed for the site by one of NewsMax’s “pundits,” John LeBoutillier. According to LeBoutillier: “Because Ed Klein and I are friends, we have been talking about this book for almost two years.” LeBoutillier is also the founder of something called the StopHillaryPAC. How convenient…

Then there’s Rush Limbaugh, who disgracefully peddled another piece of junk from the book, albeit in a way that he no doubt thought was very cute:

"I've got some interesting, juicy details on this book on Hillary by Ed Klein, but I'm not going to be the first to mention them. I'm not going there. It will come out eventually. It has to do with sexual orientation, and I'm not going to be the one...”

The leak of the book's claims of "revolutionary lesbianism" to the Daily Mail follows a time-tested strategy of using Fleet Street as a dumping ground for ludicrous claims, which the mainstream U.S. media would not report. But which, once published in England, can quickly make their way back to the States via right-wing outlets.

And how about the book’s publisher, Sentinel? According to the New York Post, Sentinel spokesperson Will Weisser “said he hoped that The Truth About Hillary would do to Clinton what the Swift Boat Veterans’ bestseller did to Kerry.”

And then there’s the garbage man himself, Ed Klein, whom the Philadelphia Inquirer described as “a recovering journalist” who “practices genetics and psychoanalysis, all predicated on a towering cream puff of assumptions”.

Let’s send him -- and his toxic trash -- back to reporter rehab. He’s clearly fallen way, way off the wagon… and into the gutter.