Ruddy Blackout Shows a Book Bias
by L. Brent Bozell III
October 2, 1997
In an age of media spectacles large (Princess Diana) and
small (Marv Albert), one might think there is no such thing left in journalism
as a taboo. Investigative journalist Christopher Ruddy would disagree. Over
the last three years, he's focused on a story that no one else wants to touch:
the strange death of top White House aide Vincent Foster.
On a beat virtually abandoned (if ever covered) by the rest
of the national media, Ruddy has broken scoop after scoop for the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review documenting a bagful of forensic mysteries surrounding Foster's
death, as well as an outrageous pattern of White House stonewalling of the
He advanced no grand theory of his own. He simply demolishes
the official findings of independent counsel Robert Fiske. He shows how Foster
could not have killed himself as reported by the press; how the crime scene
contradicted the claim of suicide; how Foster did not walk hundreds of feet
through the grass of Fort Marcy Park, where his body was found; how the
so-called suicide note was found to be a forgery; how the White House impeded
investigators at every opportunity.
If Ruddy were a leftist, he'd have a fistful of awards by
now. But the "mainstream" media bashed him relentlessly as a
conspiracy theorist without bothering to match his questions with answers.
Where did the bullet go? Why so little blood at the scene? Why no soil samples
on his shoes? Why did it take days to find a suicide note ripped to pieces in
the bottom of his briefcase? The mysteries are endless, but the media only
tarred and feathered Ruddy for his troubles.
In 1995 and 1996, the White House sneakily passed out to
reporters their infamous memo titled "The Conspicuous Stream of
Conspiracy Commerce" in a blatant effort to ruin Ruddy's reputation,
knowing someone would be foolish enough to fall for it. Sure enough, Mike
Wallace molded the memo into a hit piece for "60 Minutes." The New
York Times Magazine recently used contract writer Philip Weiss to bash Ruddy
as a "fanatic," a "Clinton hater," and a "Clinton
crazy." (Strangely, Weiss then wrote in support of Ruddy and against the
media's Foster coverup in the weekly New York Observer, complaining "No
one in the media can think for himself or herself.")
Now Ruddy has put his findings into a book titled "The
Strange Death of Vincent Foster," published by the distinguished Free
Press. You hadn't heard? That's because the national media isn't about to give
this man the time of day. The spike is on. A couple obvious points on the
1. This is not a quibble over accuracy, an aversion to lurid
allegations, or an act of sensitivity for the dead. If you really care about
accuracy or taste, you don't cater to authors like trash-for-cash Kitty
Kelley. All three networks rewarded on her Royal Family-bashing, moved up by
the publisher to cash in on the heels of Princess Diana's death.
For outrageous, unproven allegations, try ABC's
"Turning Point," which earlier this year devoted an entire hour to
Dexter King's charge that Lyndon Johnson ordered the assassination of his
father, Martin Luther King Jr.
2. Nor is this about a lack of interest in crime stories.
The networks just will not tire of breathing the fumes of the O.J. Simpson
case. Witness how they jumped all over O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark's
book years after her prosecution failed. NBC's "Today" show alone
did four interview segments with Clark. A few weeks ago, the networks featured
the new book of O.J. girlfriend/centerfold model Paula Barbieri. And the
networks still regale us regularly with the latest JonBenet Ramsey dirt. But
the mysterious unsolved death of a top White House aide? No takers, thank you
In contrast to the gaudy cash-in books of 15-minute TV
celebrities, Ruddy's book puts all his lonely, relentless spadework in one
place, with reams of unchallenged evidence to disprove all the official
reports that casually concur with the White House story line. Anyone who is
honest enough to seek answers to the Foster mysteries ought to buy a copy and
read it. One man did, and liked it very much. Former FBI Director William
Sessions thinks the book is good enough for the serious reader. Why isn't it
good enough for the media elite?
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