WashPost: Stephanopoulos Said Hillary Engaged In 'Jesuitical Lying' on Travelgate

May 27th, 2007 10:55 PM

The Washington Post took a second bite out of the forthcoming MSM-originating Hillary Clinton biographies on Sunday, in an article titled "Unflattering Books Cause Barely A Ripple." Reporters Dan Balz and Perry Bacon Jr. stressed that (Democrat) voters in the Iowa towns of Algona, Charles City, Mason City and Emmetsburg didn't have book-related questions. The reporters dropped another fun quote from one of the books:

[Former WashPost reporter Carl] Bernstein's book, for example, reports that then-White House adviser George Stephanopoulos described to unnamed colleagues Clinton's responses to the White House Travel Office case and other scandals as "Jesuitical lying." Stephanopoulos, now anchor of ABC's "This Week" program, declined to comment when reached Friday.

Isn't it a little early for Balz and Bacon and the Post to call it a day on the "ripples" these books will have when they have yet to be released? Before the authors hit the talk shows? Will Stephanopoulos put them on his show? Will CBS's 60 Minutes publicize the Hillary books with the same fervor that they've shown for books the Bush people didn't like? If the major media decided to make a ripple, they could make one easily, even among Democrat partisans.

It's a classic liberal media tactic (certainly a common one back in 1992) to presume that if liberal Democrat primary voters aren't concerned about a scandal, then there isn't one. Unless these liberals in Iowa seriously challenge her past, will reporters continue to aid Clinton campaign spokesmen in suggesting there's no ripple in their happy ice cream bowl?

The Balz-Bacon piece includes some skepticism about Hillary's scandal-plagued candidacy (from GOP consultant Mike Murphy and some unnamed Democrats), but the conservatives were tagged in the story as "Clinton haters," when "Bush hater" is not a common Washington Post term:

Even some Republicans agreed with Clinton's team that the books will have minimal effect on Clinton's campaign. For Clinton haters, one strategist said, the books will reinforce what they believe already, but they will change no minds.

Democratic strategists not attached to Clinton's campaign offered harsher assessments, although they spoke on the condition of anonymity because they do not want to get into a public fight with the former first couple.

One Democrat called the books a reminder of "the tawdriness of the Dogpatch days," while another said, "It's not a deal killer, but it reinforces people's preconceived notions about her." He said his rule of thumb for her campaign is this: "The more the conversation is about the past, the worse for her. The more it's about the future, the better for her."