Thursday, January 19, 2006

Peter Paul & Hyman

A favorite argumentative technique of the Rabid Right is the moral equivalency game. Whether it’s trying to equate Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq with Clinton launching cruise missiles or comparing legal wiretaps done under Clinton with the widespread illegal spying done on the Bush administration’s orders, you can usually count on conservatives to try to muddy the waters about their own shortcomings by suggesting they are no different than actions of Democrats (preferably those whose name is “Clinton”).

Usually, though, the two cases being compared are “equivalent” to the same degree that a Great White and a guppy are both “fish.”

Abramoff-gate continues to reveal the level to which Republican congressional politicians are besmeared with corruption, right wing apologists are attempting damage control by charging that Democrats are just as bad.

The suggestion that Democrats are as involved in the Abramoff case as Democrats
doesn’t pass the giggle test, so some are looking further afield.

Cue Mark Hyman, who tells us that something we “probably didn’t see in the news” is a story about an FEC fine of a fundraising group for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senatorial campaign.

So, a plague on both your houses, right?

Maybe, but not because Abramoff-gate and the FEC fine are in the same galaxy in terms of questionable ethics.

Hyman notes that
Peter F. Paul, an ex-con who became a small-time media mogul, helped throw a fundraiser for Senator Clinton, the total expense of which was underreported by the fundraising group. The FEC found that although the group had done nothing illegal, but said that because of the underreporting, the Senator’s fundraising group had to pay a fine of $35,000. The group has agreed to pay this restitution.

Hyman fails to note that Paul’s raising the money was a part of
an attempt to lure former President Clinton to work for his company. He also makes no mention of the fact that after the 2000 election, when Clinton didn’t become an employee, Peter Paul turned on the Clintons and became the darling of the radical right, particularly Judicial Watch, a group devoted to legal harassment of the Clintons. Guilt by association works both ways.

But Hyman doesn’t want his audience to actually know the whole story. He’d hopes the phrases “fundraising scandal,” “convicted felon,” and “Hillary Clinton” will all bleed together and cause people unencumbered with the facts to think this is somehow equivalent to the colossal fraud and corruption of Tom DeLay and the host of other Congressional Republicans who were on the take.

Oh, and about Hyman’s insinuation that the Clinton story was somehow covered up by the allegedly liberal corporate media, here’s a partial list of the newspapers that carried at least one story on the matter:

The Washington Post
The Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
USA Today
The New York Sun
The Guardian Unlimited
The San Diego Union Tribune
The San Francisco Chronicle
The Seattle Post Intelligencer
The Boston Globe
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review
The Kansas City Star
The Saint Paul Pioneer Press
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
The Sacramento Bee
The Edmonton Sun
The San Jose Mercury News
The Fort Worth Star Telegram
The Biloxi Sun Herald
The Billings Gazette
The Centre Daily Times
The Fort Wayne News Sentinel
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
The Myrtle Beach Sun News
The Duluth News Tribune
The Monterey County Herald
The Bradenton Herald
The Belleville News Democrat
The North County Times
The People’s Daily

Oh, and all three broadcast networks, all three major cable news channels, hosts of local television and radio broadcasts, etc. etc. etc.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.45


At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a fairly impressive 'partial list' of media outlets that covered the story. I would guess that the story got a lot more print and airtime than either the James Guckert (aka Jeff Gannon) scandal, or the Downing Street Memos. And the Neo-Fascist Hyman just keeps on swinging his framing hammer, and driving the nails.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any honest conservative/Republican would be highly critical of Hyman's deceitful tactics. They simply don't advance any cause (unless you have an IQ less than 70).


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