Wash. Times article, Globe column discussing NOW-NY letter omitted Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of letter

››› ››› BRIAN FREDERICK

A Washington Times article and a Boston Globe column both discussed a statement from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women that criticized Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama and not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, but both omitted the Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of NOW New York's statement. In a New York Daily News column, Bill Hammond reported that "her [Clinton's] campaign quickly disavowed [NOW New York president Marcia] Pappas' attack on Kennedy. 'This statement does not at all reflect her views or the opinion of the Clinton campaign,' spokesman Howard Wolfson said."

A January 31 Washington Times article by Donald Lambro and a January 31 Boston Globe column by Joan Vennochi both discussed a statement from the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women that criticized Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and not Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) for president, but both omitted the Clinton campaign's reported disavowal of the letter. Lambro wrote that "[t]he New York chapter issued its statement in response to reports that this week's endorsements by Mr. Kennedy, his son Patrick and his niece Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg have fueled bitter feelings within the Clinton campaign, reportedly shared by Mrs. Clinton, who had hoped that her Senate colleague would have remained neutral in the race." Vennochi's column claimed: "Some Clinton supporters are castigating Ted Kennedy for endorsing Obama. The New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women went overboard, calling it the 'ultimate betrayal.' "

But neither Lambro's Times article nor Vennochi's column noted that according to a January 29 column by the New York Daily News' Bill Hammond, "her [Clinton's] campaign quickly disavowed [NOW New York president Marcia] Pappas' attack on Kennedy. 'This statement does not at all reflect her views or the opinion of the Clinton campaign,' spokesman Howard Wolfson said."

Nor did Lambro or Vennochi give any indication that they had contacted the Clinton campaign for a comment on the NOW New York chapter's letter.

From the January 31 edition of The Washington Times:

In an attack on the senator from Massachusetts, the NOW chapter in Mrs. Clinton's home state said, "Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Sen. Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary Clinton's opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard."

"We are repaid with his abandonment," the state chapter said in a statement Tuesday. "He's picked the new guy over us. He's joined the list of progressive white men who can't or won't handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton."

The fiery statement was rebuked by NOW's national office in Washington, which has endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and has been one of Mr. Kennedy's longtime defenders.

"The National Organization for Women has enormous respect and admiration for Sen. Edward Kennedy," said NOW President Kim Grady. "For decades Sen. Kennedy has been a friend of NOW, and a leader and fighter for women's civil and reproductive rights, and his record shows that."

The New York chapter issued its statement in response to reports that this week's endorsements by Mr. Kennedy, his son Patrick and his niece Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg have fueled bitter feelings within the Clinton campaign, reportedly shared by Mrs. Clinton, who had hoped that her Senate colleague would have remained neutral in the race.

Mr. Kennedy reportedly endorsed Mr. Obama of Illinois because of his growing concern that the freshman senator was attacked unfairly in increasingly strident rhetoric by former President Bill Clinton, Mrs. Clinton's chief surrogate, who rejected Mr. Kennedy's advice to "tone it down."

Conservative women's groups yesterday said the NOW chapter's statement was "over the top" and wrongly based on politics of sexual identity.

From Vennochi's January 31 column:

Last week, Barack Obama beat Clinton 2-to-1 in South Carolina, gaining momentum and exquisitely timed endorsements from Caroline Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Some Clinton supporters are castigating Ted Kennedy for endorsing Obama. The New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women went overboard, calling it the "ultimate betrayal."

Clinton has endured much sexism over the course of the presidential campaign, but this time, she undercut her own cause. She turned her campaign over to husband Bill Clinton, an angry, divisive tone and the unwelcome prospect of a co-presidency. Together, the Clintons squandered the comeback win the candidate earned in New Hampshire, mostly with her own sweat and overanalyzed tears.

Network/Outlet
The Washington Times, Boston Globe
Person
Donald Lambro, Joan Vennochi
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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