SHOP TALK

Sam Smith – I was a bit taken aback by news that Bill Clinton had visited the headquarters of the rightwing site Newsmax and had a friendly chat with its founder Chris Ruddy. Reported Newsmax, “The president and Ruddy have become friends over the past several few years, with both sharing Clinton’s passion for the causes that his Clinton Foundation supports. The foundation focuses on poverty alleviation and health services in the United States and globally. ‘I am a great admirer of President Clinton,’ Ruddy said.”

But then, after thinking about it, I was a bit pleased. After all, Hillary Clinton had given all the credit for exposing the Clinton scandals to a “rightwing conspiracy” of which Ruddy was a key and able part. But in fact, the Progressive Review was one of the first journals to get on the Clinton case, running a report on numerous questionable Clinton connections even before his nomination, most of which would later be featured in the Whitewater scandal.

The inspiration for some of this information was research by a progressive student group at the University of Arkansas. But, unlike Barack Obama and his public distaste for the professional left, the Clintons gave all their disdain to the conspiratorial right (although I still suspect the Clintonistas of being responsible for me being banned during the period by CSPAN and one of the the Washington NPR station’s leading talk host).

In any case, it’s now clear that the vast rightwing conspiracy just couldn’t weather the storm so it’s now up to the minuscule leftwing conspiracy, including the Review, to finish the job. And they call liberals wimps?

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