In attacking Hillary Clinton, Janet Parshall revived debunked smear


During an extended attack on Democrats who oppose President Bush's judicial nominees, radio host Janet Parshall falsely accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) of promoting herself as an evangelical Christian. The source of Parshall's accusation was apparently a National Review Online column by "comic commentator" Rob Long, in which Long "quoted" a fake bulletin from a fictitious church that "reported" comments that Clinton was said to have made to the bulletin.

From the May 2 edition of the nationally syndicated radio program Janet Parshall's America:

PARSHALL: And our challenge is going to be able to persevere, speak the truth, doing it in a loving fashion when they take our faith and use it as a bludgeoning tool against us. Dirty politics. In the final analysis, it will work against them. How do I know that? Because Hillary's already calling herself an evangelistic -- evangelical Christian. And last time around, she was Jewish. So before it's all said and done, she will be an evangelical Jewish Muslim. Trust me.

Long's November 16, 2004, column which Parshall was apparently relying on in claiming that Clinton is "calling herself an evangelical Christian," began with a bulletin from a fictitious church in Arkansas:

From "Light the Lamp!": The monthly newsletter of the Holy Flame Pentecostal Church of Little Rock: We welcome back to the area Senator Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.), who has been spending so much time here in Little Rock lately that she's practically joined the church choir! "I'm here spending time at my husband's library," she told the Lamp when we caught up with her after a Sunday camp meeting, "and of course, I always take time to worship God in as evangelical a way as is feasible, given time and location constraints. As you know, I consider myself an evangelical Christian, really a Christian conservative, if you want to know the truth, so it's nice to be 'home' again in the South, which I really consider my quote-unquote home even though I live in New York most of the time. Well, Washington, D.C., most of the time, actually, but if I'm not there I'm in New York, of course, but always thinking about being here, in the South, my spiritual home, where I shared so many wonderful evangelical ... moments and ... events. Can you read that back to me?"

When Long's piece appeared, numerous conservative websites published the alleged Clinton quote across the Internet, misrepresenting it as real. After realizing the quotation was fake, the authors of one website, Blogs for Bush, issued a correction: "That's what I get for not tracing the quote to the original source."

Further, contrary to Parshall's claim that "the last time around, [Clinton] was Jewish," Clinton has never identified herself as Jewish. Parshall was apparently referring to an August 1999 article in the Jewish newspaper The Forward, which revealed that Clinton's step-grandfather was a Jew.

According to an article in American Outlook, the quarterly magazine of the conservative Hudson Institute, Janet Parshall's America "reaches 3.5 million listeners five days a week." The show is syndicated by Salem Radio Network.

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