Talk about conspiracies: If Gary Condit can be back in full swing on Larry King, it's no accident that David Brock has resurfaced as well to hawk his latest true confessional. Some pointed reader reactions, however, suggest getting away with it will be as difficult for him as it is for Condit. If nothing else we'll be seeing an uniterrupted struggle, as Brock and Condit join forces to compare their respective persecution complexes.
Here, for instance, is one reader's response to a story on Brock that ran in yesterday's "Washington Post." According to the story:
"He [Brock] slid further into the journalistic gutter by mounting an attack on two reporters, Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer, when they published a competing book on the Thomas-Hill imbroglio. For one thing, he tried to bully a friend of Thomas's into retracting her story (of having seen a Playboy pinup in Thomas's kitchen) by threatening to reveal derogatory information from an old divorce case."
The readers counters: "Actually the book Strange Justice stated that Kaye Savage 'visited Mr. Thomas's apartment and was stunned to find the walls covered with Playboy centerfolds.' On the day Strange Justice was published, Savage stated on Nightline that 'in the galley kitchen at the end of the kitchen, on the wall, there was a Playboy centerfold...' As John Corry put it, 'The other nudes had vanished.' Brock did not talk to Savage until later. The Mayer/Abramson/Savage contradictions are independent of anything Brock did."
Several readers also drew attention to the online chat Brock had with questioners on the Post's site yesterday as well. One of the readers even participated in the fun. He writes: "Well, Wlady I did my best to pin down the slippery Mr. Brock -- but to no avail. My queries are from Arlington, VA. Looks like the Post's 'Larry King filter' was in full force and effect during this 'debate.'" I wouldn't be so down on the process. He got in a good question, and in best evasive fashion Brock wasn't mensch enough to engage it. Here's their exchange:
"Arlington, Va.: 'Nothing like it exists on the left?' Come now, Mr. Brock, I think the late John Tower would disagree with you quite a bit as would Bob Packwood. Do not attribute the motives of those who opposed Bill Clinton as being motivated by hatred, bigotry, etc. That is the usual canard hoisted by the PC police of the left when they want to discredit their opponents without resorting to serious argument. I could have cared less what Clinton did in his private life but when one is sworn in court to tell the truth one must do so regardless of what one thinks are the merits of the suit."
"David Brock: John Tower was brought down by Paul Weyrich, a leader of the New Right & a pioneer in the sexual McCarthyism of the right. Packwood, of course, was undone by his own actions, which were exposed in the mainstream press. I lived among the Clinton-haters for years, and I can assure you that my portrait of them is not a canard. The major Clinton-haters in Arkansas were segregationists & hated Clinton for his progressive record on race."
Choice, no? He lived among "Clinton-haters for years," which presumably would have been in the Washington area. But just like that he turns them into Arkansas segregationists. Only goes to show, ask an honest man an honest question and you'll get an honest answer. But if honesty is lacking -- you can figure out the rest.
And that's when the fun really starts. One reader and former Brock acquaintance reacted this way to his choicer chat remarks:
BROCK: "In the book, I write quite a bit about how the [anti-Clinton vast right wing ]conspiracy worked from the inside, because I was recruited into it..."
READER: "I am really upset that I had to work to get into the conspiracy; no one recruited me into it!"
BROCK: "I anticipate giving as much of the royalties on this current book as I can to charities or causes that reflect my beliefs and values."
READER: "Yeah, right. What does giving 'as much...as I can' mean? Given David's expenses, I don't think he thinks he can afford to give anything away."
BROCK: "The Spectator published fabrications under several bylines, not just mine. There are a lot of people who owe apologies and need to come clean."
READER: "Conveniently, there are no specifics given."
BROCK: "I don't know what Sidney [Blumenthal]'s job was at the White House, but if it involved disseminating the truth about the right-wing's operations, I don't think that is the kind of 'attack structure' I'm referring to. The 'attack structure' of the right has no regard for the truth of an allegation so long as it is politically useful."
READER: "Didn't he meet or talk with 'Sidney' many times during his conversion process? [Yes, about 30 to 50 times, as it emerged during Blumenthal's failed lawsuit against Matt Drudge.] If so, how would he not know what Sidney's job was? Additionally, Sidney's job was thoroughly explained in news articles at the time."
BROCK: "I was living in a mutual use society and as a result never learned what true friendship is, or how to give rather than take."
READER: "So it's the Right Wing's fault that David has subsequently betrayed all of his friends in the intervening time. Furthermore, shouldn't he have learned 'what true friendship is' and the other stuff by his early 20s (when he joined the Right)? Isn't that the job of parents, to teach that to their children at a young age?"
The Reader forgets that Brock was a Kennedy liberal before he became a righty, which might explain what he learned and didn't learn at an early age. Nonetheless, and to be fair, there are those can vouch for his inability to "give rather than take." Word is, for instance, that he never so much as thanked any of his overworked researchers on the Hillary book, for which he had received a modest million-dollar advance.
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