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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
When former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed on national TV that she and her husband were being opposed by "a vast right-wing conspiracy," most watchers scoffed. Sure, there were people opposed to President Clinton and his Democratic administration, but they were just the usual collection of typical conservatives, right? Well, according to author and journalist David Brock -- the man who helped Clarence Thomas ascend to the Supreme Court by working to falsely discredit his accuser, Anita Hill -- there were a tremendous number of right-wing activists at work to bring down the Clintons, their efforts funded by conservative millionaires.
In this book, Brock, who started to "see the light" and move away from the right-wingers with his portrait of Mrs. Clinton, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham -- Brock had set out to do a hatchet job, but found himself writing an evenhanded portrait, incensing his conservative backers -- firmly divorces himself from their influence with this account of how a deeply closeted gay man, desperate to be accepted, found professional acclaim by allying himself with the sorts of people who, in reality, are antipathetic to the gay lifestyle.
Brock spares no one in this detailed account of how publications such as The American Spectator and The Washington Times -- funded, respectively, by right-winger Richard Mellon Scaife and Unification Church bankroller Sun Myung Moon -- thought nothing of printing known lies and distortions in an attempt to further their own causes. Brock tellingly points out that he never learned how to be a good reporter until after he escaped the clutches of these propaganda papers.
Brock, learning all the wrong lessons about journalism, became a conservative icon by going on to assist the "Arkansas Project," a conservative-funded "dirty tricks operation" against the Clintons. The Project would involve and influence many of the people involved in the investigations into "Troopergate" and the subsequent Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations (Brock's portrayal of special prosecutor Ken Starr leaves no doubt in the reader's mind that Starr was on an ideological crusade against Clinton.)
This is one gigantic mea culpa, as Brock, now happily "out" as a gay man, comes clean and gives a chilling account of the many men and women (some of whom went on to be firmly ensconced in the George W. Bush administration) who poured their frightening hate of the Clintons into their every thought and deed. One gets the impression of the author exhaling with relief. (Nicholas Sinisi)
Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes & Noble.com Current Affairs editor.