Bozell repeated lie that Lay slept in Lincoln Bedroom during Clinton years


Though he was introduced by CNN anchor Miles O'Brien as "part of the truth squad here [at the Democratic National Convention]," L. Brent Bozell III (founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center) repeated the lie that former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay stayed in the White House's Lincoln Bedroom during Bill Clinton's presidency.

In a July 27 interview on CNN's Live From..., Bozell asserted, "Ken Lay spent 13 nights ... in Bill Clinton's Lincoln Bedroom." In fact, although Lay did not spend a single night in the Lincoln Bedroom while Clinton was president, he was an overnight guest in the White House of former President George H.W. Bush.

This misinformation about Lay and Clinton has been widely propagated -- and also widely debunked. Lay's name does not appear on the Clinton White House's Lincoln Bedroom guest lists. The Daily Howler and The New York Observer's Joe Conason credited Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons for first exposing the lie: "Sorry, but Lay's name does not appear on published lists of White House visitors. The former president's [Bill Clinton's] office told me the allegation is categorically false. ... Lay did attend a White House bunking party under President Bush's father."

Spinsanity co-editor Brendan Nyhan, in a February 21, 2002, article, wrote that journalists and pundits spreading the "false claim that former Enron CEO Ken Lay stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House during the Clinton administration ... evidently failed to consult the original Clinton Lincoln Bedroom guest list from February 1997, the July 1999-August 2000 list or the White House Coffee and Sleep-over Database. Ken Lay's name appears on none of these lists."

According to a February 26, 2002, article in USA Today, "Lay was an overnight guest at the White House during the senior Bush's administration. The former president still considers Lay a friend, despite the Enron scandal."

During the same July 27 interview, Bozell also called Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-NC) "the most liberal ticket in modern American political history" -- echoing the Republican National Committee and other conservative pundits. As Media Matters for America has previously documented, a July 26 op-ed in The New York Times cited an analysis of Kerry's lifetime record that revealed that while Kerry falls in the liberal half of his party, he is still "closer to the center of the Democratic Party than he is to the most liberal senators"; Edwards's lifetime voting record, according to National Journal, places him squarely in the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.