An article for the June 18 edition of Newsweek reported that Republican activist David Bossie is producing “a tough documentary” about former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) aimed at “a new generation of voters who don't remember the old Clinton wars.” The article noted that Bossie “worked tirelessly as an investigator for” Rep. Dan Burton's (R-IN) House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in the 1990s. But Newsweek failed to inform readers that Bossie's alleged actions in that post ultimately got him fired from the committee and earned him the condemnation of congressional Republicans and Democrats.
From the Newsweek article, headlined “Can Hillary Overcome Her Likability Gap?”:
Some grudges just don't die. In the 1990s, David Bossie worked tirelessly as an investigator for Rep. Dan Burton's government-reform committee. Burton was a top-echelon antagonist to Bill and Hillary Clinton, leading wide-ranging investigations of Whitewater and campaign finance. All the digging didn't amount to much: six years after the Clintons left the White House, Burton is a little-heard-from member of the minority party and Hillary Clinton is the front runner to be the Democrats' nominee for president in 2008.
But Bossie is still working away. In recent months, he has returned to investigating the Clintons, this time for a tough documentary scheduled for release in theaters this fall. One of the documentary's key potential audiences: a new generation of voters who don't remember the old Clinton wars. He points out that someone who is 18 today was “4 years old when the travel-office scandal broke.” These young voters, he predicts, will be hungry for Hillary dirt, new and old. “There's an enormous market for Hillary Clinton information,” he tells NEWSWEEK. Other inveterate Hillary hounders agree. R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., the editor of The American Spectator who has authored multiple books on what he sees as the Clintons' sins, says there are “active research teams” looking into the New York senator. “They're out there,” Tyrrell tells NEWSWEEK. “I get calls all the time.”
In describing Bossie as having “worked tirelessly” on “wide-ranging investigations of Whitewater and campaign finance,” Newsweek made no mention that Bossie was fired from his position on the Government Reform Committee in 1998 for his alleged role in releasing selectively edited transcripts of former Clinton administration official Webster Hubbell's prison conversations. At the time the allegations surfaced regarding the transcripts, Bossie drew sharp criticism from members of his own party, as Media Matters for America noted. According to a May 7, 1998, Washington Post article, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) told Burton, “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.”
Moreover, Bossie's career as an investigator has been marked by, in the words of journalist and Media Matters Senior Fellow Eric Boehlert, “downright slimy tactics.” In a July 20, 2004, Salon profile, Boehlert noted that James Rowley III, the chief counsel to the Government Reform Committee, resigned his position in July 1997 after Burton refused to fire Bossie. Boehlert reported: “In his one-page resignation letter, Rowley, a former federal prosecutor employed by Republicans, accused Bossie of 'unrelenting' self-promotion in the press, which made it impossible 'to implement the standards of professional conduct I have been accustomed to at the United States Attorney's Office.' " Boehlert further noted that Bossie's alleged tactics in investigating the Clintons had caused controversy as early as 1992, when “President George H.W. Bush, repudiating Bossie's tactics, filed an FEC complaint against Bossie's group after it produced a TV ad inviting voters to call a hot line to hear (almost certainly doctored) tape-recorded conversations between Clinton and Gennifer Flowers.” A July 20, 1992, report in Time noted the Bush campaign's repudiation of the Presidential Victory Committee, of which Bossie was the executive director:
The Bush- Quayle campaign tried to hit [conservative activist Floyd] Brown's operation in the pocketbook last month by obtaining from the Federal Election Commission the names of 362 large donors to Citizens for Bush, a project of Brown's Presidential Victory Committee. A letter to each contributor pointed out that Brown's enterprises are not part of the Bush effort; those who had the wrong impression were encouraged to ask for their money back. Only a dozen did so.
Additionally, the Newsweek article reported that Bossie “points out that someone who is 18 today was '4 years old when the travel-office scandal broke.'” But Newsweek did not point out that the investigation into the “travel-office scandal” found no wrongdoing on the part of the Clintons. As Media Matters noted, in a June 2000 report on the firings of White House Travel Office employees, independent counsel Robert Ray wrote that the decision to fire the employees was “lawful” and that “the evidence is insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either Mr. [former White House director of administration David] Watkins or Mrs. Clinton committed perjury or obstruction of justice during the course of their testimony before GAO [Government Accountability Office], the Congress, and this investigation.”