What Fresh Hell Is This?

November 6, 2017

More On Christopher Ruddy And The Fake News

As I posted recently, Christopher Ruddy will be speaking as part of Point Park University's "Talk Back Series" on Wednesday.

I'm looking to be there - if only to get the opportunity to ask him about his own place in the history of "fake news."

Remember, he was Richard Mellon Scaife's main guy when it came to the death of Vince Foster.

In 1997, Ruddy wrote:
At a press conference in Washington today, an international panel of forensic handwriting experts - including one from Oxford University - will announce its findings that a torn note, said to have been Vince Foster Jr.'s "suicide" note, is a forgery.

Strategic Investment, a Baltimore-based financial newsletter, and its editor, James Dale Davidson, have called the conference to issue the written findings of three experts that analyzed a copy of a note. Twenty-seven pieces (the 28th piece was missing) of the note were claimed to have been found in the late Deputy White House Counsel's briefcase almost a week after his sudden death on July 20, 1993.

If the forensic panel's assertions are true, it could indicate that someone engaged in a major cover-up of Foster's death and obstructed justice by hindering the investigation of the matter. The U.S. Park Police originally determined that the note was written by Foster, and ruled his death a suicide. At the request of former Special Counsel Robert Fiske, the FBI lab examined the note and concluded it was authentic.
Turns out, of course, that the FBI was right and Ruddy was wrong. From the Whitewater report:
On Thursday, July 22, 1993, in front of Park Police, FBI and DOJ personnel, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum reviewed documents and other items in Foster's office in search of a suicide note. 850 None was found. On Monday, July 26, 1993 (four days later), Associate Counsel to the President Stephen Neuwirth discovered a torn "note" apparently written by Foster, in a briefcase in Foster's office. The White House produced the note to the Park Police on July 27, 1993.

After the note's discovery, DOJ told the FBI to conduct an obstruction of justice investigation. The FBI focused on: 1) whether the note was seen by any individual other than Foster before July 26, 1993; and 2) why it took twenty-seven hours after the note's discovery on July 26 for the White House to give it to investigators.

The Park Police and DOJ/FBI investigations concluded August 10, 1993, with a joint press conference. The Park Po lice concluded Foster's death was caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Fort Marcy Park. The DOJ and FBI had concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any individual or entity for obstruction of justice.
That last part means no cover-up - unless, of course, the DOJ/FBI was in on the cover-up!!!

This is who Point Park has invited to speak.

But let's dig deeper - into how important Ruddy was in the invention of modern day "fake news."

From The Public Eye in 1999:
Christopher Ruddy, the most energetic of the journalists claiming vast Clinton conspiracies, left the New York Post after his early 1994 stories on the death of Vincent Foster were heavily criticized in other media outlets. Hired by The Pittsburgh Tribune- Review, Ruddy was assigned by publisher Scaife to pursue stories about Clinton. Scaife learned of Ruddy through the Western Journalism Center, a Scaife grantee, which had placed ads consisting of republished Ruddy articles on Foster. Some of the most interesting information on Ruddy comes from his ally, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. While praising Ruddy in his book [The Secret Life of Bill Clinton], Evans-Pritchard details how Ruddy was an activist in a nationwide right-wing network:
He waged war on the airwaves, broadcasting night after night across the country on the radio talk circuit where he soon became a folk hero. He gave speeches, endlessly. He lobbied on Capitol Hill. He lobbied at the Christian Roundtable meetings in Tennessee. He lobbied wherever people would listen. He built alliances: with Reed Irvine’s Accuracy in Media in Washington; with Jim Davidson’s Strategic Investment; with the Western Journalism Center in California; with Jeremiah Films (which made the Clinton Chronicles). He signed up with Richard Scaife, writing about the Foster case for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It was a modest little brigade. But it was enough for insurgent warfare.
Evans-Pritchard also discusses the crucial role played by the Internet: “What was bothering the White House most about the Internet was the enormous amplification it gives to newsletters like Strategic Investment, ” or articles by Evans-Pritchard or Ruddy. According to Evans-Pritchard:
In the 1980s our stories would not have gained any traction. Now they are “posted” within hours of publication, and are then perused by the producers of radio talk shows, who surf the Net in search of avant-garde material. A good scoop may be picked up....[and] read on the air by G. Gordon Liddy, Paul Harvey, or Chuck Harder. It might be featured by Blanquita Column, or by Rush Limbaugh, with his 20 million “ditto heads.”
Fake News 90s-style. Sound familiar?

And this is who Point Park has invited to speak this week.

No comments: