Originating in an article in Harper's, this is the anti-Whitewater book. There is no Clinton scandal in that unfortunate little real estate deal, according to Gene Lyons, a columnist with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The scandal Lyons sees is in the media hype that elevated the Whitewater story to a level that threatens the Clinton Presidency. Indeed, in a defense that turns into a controversial direct attack on the integrity of the reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Lyons alleges that the whole affair "rests on facts that are somewhere between highly dubious and demonstrably false." In scathing polemical detail, Lyons questions the competence and judgment of the journalists involved, concluding that the Clintons are victims of a deliberate smear campaign.
On March 8, 1992, the New York Times published an article by investigative reporter Jeff Gerth. The headline said, "Clintons Joined S&L Operator in an Ozark Real Estate Venture." That venture later became known as Whitewater. Lyons has written this timely, important book (based in part on an article that appeared in the October 1994 issue of Harper's Magazine) because he believes that Gerth, the Times and other news organizations have created a damaging political scandal out of misinterpretation, innuendo and a bias against Arkansas. Lyons (Widow's Web) surely knows that his book, if deemed believable, will help Clinton's reelection campaign and cleanse some of the dirt from the image of the President and the First Lady. The task is to determine the credibility of Lyons, an Arkansas native who is no friend of Bill and certainly no friend of major media organizations that have, he says, bungled the Clinton "scandal" stories, sometimes with malice aforethought. The verdict: Lyons is credible more often than not. His dense analyses of specific stories from the New York Times and elsewhere point out errors of fact and interpretation. The book would be far more convincing, however, if it included copies of documents referred to over and over as proof of media incompetence and/or ill will. The appendices that are included are helpful but not sufficient to make the strongest possible case.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I got hooked on his column when I lived in Little Rock. This book is good, but precedes and doesn't supplement a lot to The Hunting of the President, that he wrote with Joe... Read morePublished on December 23, 2007 by Charles A. Robinson
This is a book you buy to validate your pre-conceived notion that a conspiracy haunted Bill Clinton. Read morePublished on September 28, 2005 by Piper Lauie
I am about 5 years too late in reading this book. There has been so much else written about this particular item that only a new comer to the issue will find this book full of new... Read morePublished on May 21, 2003 by John G. Hilliard
Reading Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater, I was reminded of the film Runaway Bride. Anybody see that? Read morePublished on February 25, 2003 by Jacob Whatley
This book was written four years ago and has stood the test of time. When future Historians study our era they will be referring to this book to understand the massive hysteria... Read morePublished on May 14, 2000
While I am not a fan of Bill Clinton, a few years back I read this book for the purposes of "opposition research". There are a number of problems with it. Read morePublished on March 17, 2000 by Oskar
Gene Lyons is a terrific writer of fiction, and that's what this book mostly is. After reading the book, I researched the so-called errors that Lyons points out and found that... Read morePublished on March 3, 2000 by Scott
Not since the late I. F. Stone debunked the Pentagon's PR campaign for Vietnam has a journalist so completely destoyed a popular myth perpetuated by a lazy press in service of the... Read morePublished on February 21, 2000
The nucleus of Lyons' book began as an October 1994 article in Harper's Magazine. In it he confirmed what I and others had suspected: There was no there there in the Whitewater... Read morePublished on January 19, 2000 by Susan Nunes