Vast right-wing conspiracy

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The Vast Right-wing Conspiracy is a concept postulated by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on January 27, 1998. Time magazine reported, "Mrs. Clinton's inflammatory sound bite burned its way through the welter of cable-TV shows, Internet forums and talk-radio programs that are to the Lewinsky scandal what the Pony Express was to the Wild West, a quick consensus formed: the White House either believed in the conspiracy (a symptom of Nixonian delusion) or it was engaging in a diversion (a sign of desperation). Janet Reno and the Washington Post, both key players in the current scandal, hardly seem like reactionary schemers. ... Remember the hundreds of FBI reports on influential Republicans that mysteriously appeared in the White House in 1996? The cloak of unnecessary secrecy thrown over Mrs. Clinton's health-care task force? Indeed, so obsessed is this White House with its enemies--real and imagined, great and small--that in July 1995 it prepared a 331-page report exposing their alleged machinations. In the tradition of Spiro Agnew's nattering nabobs of negativism, the report was titled The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce."[1] The report stated,

"The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce' refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media. This is how the stream works. First, well-funded right-wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the Western Journalism Center, the American Spectator and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Next the stories are reprinted on the Internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the Internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and New York Post) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the Internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center American media covers the story, congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a 'real' story.
"The Internet has become one of the major and most dynamic modes of communication. The Internet can link people, groups and organizations together instantly. Moreover, it allows an extraordinary amount of unregulated (emphasis added) data and information to be located in one area and available to all. The right wing has seized upon the Internet as a means of communicating its ideas to people. Moreover, evidence exists that Republican staffers surf the Internet, interacting with extremists in order to exchange ideas and information."

Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily.com observed, "In 1995 there were approximately 1 million computers connected to the Internet. By the end of 1998, there were 50 million. Within 10 years, there will be in excess of 1 billion connections. To put that in perspective, after the invention of television, it took more than 10 years before there were 50 million sets in the world. The same rise on the Internet has taken less than three years."[2]

Larry Klayman of the non-partisan watchdog group, Judicial Watch, summed up the taxpayer funded[3] report,

"The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce, a 331-page manifesto and brainchild of Associate White House Counsel Jane Sherburne and the DNC, was circulated to select reporters in a tortured effort to describe how the "right wing" conveyed "fringe" stories into mainstream American media. In essence, this document was an effort to "alert" friendly journalists that such a "conspiracy" was being promulgated by certain groups dissatisfied with the moral lapses of the Clinton White House. In short, it was an enemies list. …In December 1994, Associate White House Counsel Sherburne prepared a memorandum that outlined strategies to use against individuals and organizations perceived to be adversaries of the Clinton Administration. The memo also assigned staff members to carry out these strategies -- and specifically identified the Western Journalism Center for having investigated Foster's death. WJC was the only news organization targeted for action. ….Over the course of the investigation of WJC, nearly 20 conservative organizations -- including the Heritage Foundation, NRA and Citizens Against Government Waste -- felt the close, touch of the Clinton audit machine. Even more oddly, the media who knew of the Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce never saw any pattern developing that would signify an orchestrated White House effort -- much less actually troubled themselves to report it. Meanwhile, the WJC's offices were being broken into, with, mysteriously, nothing stolen. Their phone messages were apparently being monitored, and some of these developments happened to coincide with WJC breakthroughs in Clinton investigations. The scrutiny of the WJC by the IRS lasted nine months. WJC employees lost their jobs and livelihoods. Finally, in October 1996, Farah exposed these corrupt practices in a piece in The Wall Street Journal, and the tide began to turn. Margaret Milner-Richardson, IRS commissioner and close friend of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, abruptly resigned. The New York Post attributed her departure to political audits of conservative organizations. Some began to probe these rampant abuses, and the audit of the Western Journalism Center was "concluded" -- a verdict of "no wrongdoing" rendered in May 1997. Under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights enacted by Congress, Farah requested his case file from the IRS so he could review its contents. In keeping with the Clinton Administration standard practice, these rights were trampled in a terse refusal to turn over the documents -- the IRS frivolously citing "government privilege" as a means of keeping Mr. Farah from seeing justification for what had nearly bankrupted his organization…." [4]

The "conspiracy" concept has evolved in meaning to include any concerted efforts to inhibit Democratic or progressive politics.

See also

References

  1. Persecuted or Paranoid?, Walter Kirn, Time magazine, Feb. 09, 1998.
  2. Hillary Clinton, conspiracy theorist, Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily.com, February 11, 1999.
  3. White House Cites Steamshovel Press.
  4. Larry Klayman,WorldNetDaily 7/9/99. [1]
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