The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

Joe Conason, Author, Gene Lyons, Joint Author St. Martin's Press $25.95 (413p) ISBN 978-0-312-24547-4
Conason and Lyons (Fools for Scandal), veteran journalists respectively for the New York Observer and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, argue that if the opposition to the Clintons didn't quite constitute a ""vast right-wing conspiracy,"" as the First Lady famously alleged, it was at the very least a ""loose cabal"" of ""Clinton adversaries,... an angry gallery of defeated politicians,... right-wing pamphleteers, wealthy eccentrics, zany private detectives, religious fanatics and die-hard segregationists."" They reveal how notable right-wingers like Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Carnegie Mellon fortune) and Jerry Falwell bankrolled the muckraking that led to scandals like Whitewater and Troopergate, neither of which, the authors claim, ever produced evidence of Clinton misconduct. Conason and Lyons also point out the ultraconservative credentials of Paula Jones's supporters, including Kenneth Starr, who privately abetted the harassment suit before he was appointed as a supposedly independent counsel. But what disturbs Conason and Lyons even more than the zeal of these conservative critics is the conduct of the national press. They make a case that their colleagues at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere colluded with the most unsavory elements of the fringe right to bring unverified and frequently libelous allegations into the center of the mainstream media. The story of the Clinton scandals is a tortuous, labyrinthine puzzle, and Conason and Lyons do their best to simplify it. But their cast of characters is enormous, and their research overwhelming. Readers may not ultimately agree with the authors that the tactics of the Clinton enemies were worse than any mistake made by the president, but they will nevertheless gain a considerably more balanced and complex picture of the road to impeachment. 16 pages b&w photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-312-27319-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-2873-5
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