Washington Post , AP ignored Bossie's controversial past in articles about his new ad

››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Washington Post and the Associated Press reported on new ads being run by David Bossie without noting his highly controversial past, which includes having been fired by a congressional committee.

Under the section header "Father of 9/11 Victim Praises President," The Washington Post reported on May 11:

The father of a firefighter killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, praises President Bush as "a leader, a war president" in a new television commercial by a conservative interest group, the Associated Press reported.

"On September 11, terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 Americans, including 346 firefighters, one of which was my son, Michael," Jimmy Boyle says in the ad by Citizens United. "I lost my son. I spoke to him that day. He went to work that morning, and he had died for a reason: because somebody hates America. And that day, George Bush became a leader, a war president."

Citizens United is headed by David Bossie, a former Republican congressional aide who was one of President Bill Clinton's harshest critics, AP said. The group is spending at least $100,000, a modest amount, to run the ad for a week starting Wednesday in select media markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District.

Neither The Washington Post's May 11 item nor the May 10 Associated Press article cited by the Post gave any additional information about Citizens United or David Bossie. Bossie was fired from his job as an investigator working for Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee in 1998. Bossie was fired -- as the Post reported in a front-page article on May 7, 1998 -- for his role in releasing edited transcripts of former Clinton administration official Webster Hubbell's prison conversations. Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Burton, in response to the controversy, "I'm embarrassed for you, I'm embarrassed for myself, and I'm embarrassed for the [House Republican] conference at the circus that went on at your committee."

The Washington Post's own reporting has previously shown that in 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush said of an organization run by Bossie, "We will do whatever we can to stop any filthy campaign tactics"; and that his son, George W. Bush, sent a letter to 85,697 major donors urging them not to contribute to the Bossie organization. [The Washington Post, 7/15/92]

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