The Corner

“The Clinton Chronicles”

Several liberal readers have thrown the “Clinton Chronicles” in my face as an example of conservatives embracing lies for political expediency and hence holding a double standard toward Moore. The uniformity of the claim suggests some blog has made the point.

And, it would be a fair point except I never embraced any of that stuff and neither did NR. A google search of NRO shows only one article mentioning that “documentary” — and it was one by Byron York mentioning it negatively. A Nexis search of the print National Review also finds the same thing. The Weekly Standard mocked “The Clinton Chronicles” once or twice and even ran a piece by David Brock (!) denouncing it. They also ran a piece by Byron chronicling how the conspiracy theorists of the “Clinton Chronicles” variety couldn’t accept the Starr Report. I haven’t checked out every columnist from George Will and Charles Krauthammer to Bill Buckley but something tells me there’s no paydirt there either. Now, there no doubt were conservatives who touted the Clinton Chronicles, but what becomes very clear is that the video’s prominence owed itself in no small degree to the efforts by James Carville and others to paint all conservative opponents of Clinton as conspiratorial crazies. This storyline was bought whole by much of the mainstream press. Meanwhile Michael Moore gets favorable interviews on “60 Minutes” and is promoted on the nightly news.

Regardless, the analogy flops like a dead fish on the table since mainstream liberals are rushing to tout Fahrenheit 9/11 while few if any mainstream conservatives did the same with an equally careless piece of work. And, again, even if we had a double standard in this regard, citing a documentary you think was a bundle of lies to defend your own bundle of lies is pretty lame.

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