Hannity promoting "disgusting" book that even O'Reilly has criticized


Edward Klein, author of the discredited attack book The Truth About Hillary (Sentinel, June 2005), is scheduled to appear on Fox News host Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio show and Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, even as fellow Fox News host Bill O'Reilly says he won't book the author to discuss "personal attacks" against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

Hannity has "pledged that stopping Hillary Clinton from becoming president of the United States would be a major focus of his program," according to a June 20 article on conservative website NewsMax.com, a promoter of Klein's book. Similarly, a spokesman for Sentinel, the book's publisher, has said that "he hoped that The Truth About Hillary would do to Clinton what the Swift Boat Veterans bestseller did to [Sen. John] Kerry."

O'Reilly, on the other hand, has joined other conservatives -- one of whom has called the book "disgusting" -- in distancing himself from the book, which Media Matters for America has already identified as containing numerous factual errors and misleading claims.

Still, while refusing to book Klein himself, O'Reilly has devoted no fewer than three segments in the last week, as well as an hour of his nationally syndicated radio show, to discussing the book's merits or lack thereof, contributing to the pre-publication publicity. On the June 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly called the "personal stuff" in Klein's book "poorly sourced" while also disagreeing with "Internet sites" that call the book "defamatory."

O'Reilly's June 20 segment on the book featured an interview with Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center, who falsely claimed that the networks "simply do not want to do negative stories about Hillary Clinton," a sentiment with which O'Reilly agreed. But the television networks have extensively covered negative stories connected with the Clintons. To name just two of the most obvious examples: A Nexis search* for network news stories about Clinton and the Whitewater investigation yielded 562 results, while a Nexis search** for coverage of Clinton and the White House Travel Office controversy yielded 63 results.

* Nexis search of (Hillary w/2 Clinton) w/30 Whitewater on the ABC News Transcripts, NBC News and CBS News Transcripts databases through 2002.

** Nexis search of (Hillary w/2 Clinton) w/30 "White House Travel Office" on the ABC News Transcripts, NBC News and CBS News Transcripts databases through 2002.

Klein's "The Truth About Hillary"
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