Reporting on distribution of anti-Obama film, AP did not note that producer was reportedly fired from GOP House committee over deception

Reporting on distribution of anti-Obama film, AP did not note that producer was reportedly fired from GOP House committee over deception

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

The AP reported that David Bossie, maker of the anti-Obama film Hype: The Obama Effect, was "involved in the House's investigation of President Clinton," but did not note that Bossie was reportedly fired from that position for his role in releasing selectively edited transcripts that omitted exculpatory information about then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

In an October 28 article about former Republican congressional staffer David Bossie's anti-Obama film Hype: The Obama Effect, The Associated Press reported that Bossie was "involved in the House's investigation of President Clinton," but did not note that Bossie was reportedly fired from that position for his role in releasing selectively edited transcripts that omitted exculpatory information about then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

The AP reported that Bossie's group, Citizens United, "said it planned to spend more than $1 million to distribute about 1.25 million copies" through several swing-state newspapers and further reported: "Readers of The Columbus Dispatch received their copy Tuesday. The Cincinnati Enquirer, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are scheduled to receive them in coming days."

The AP further reported that Bossie "was involved in the House's investigation of President Clinton that led to his Senate impeachment trial," and a separate version of the AP article stated that he "previously led the U.S. House's investigations into President Clinton that led to his impeachment trial in the Senate." But despite quoting Bossie saying that he "think[s]" his anti-Obama film is "a truthful attack," the AP did not provide relevant information about Bossie's work during the House "investigation" that would have helped readers assess Bossie's credibility.

Specifically, the AP article did not note that Bossie was reportedly fired from his job as an investigator under Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), then-chairman of the House of Representative's Government Reform and Oversight Committee, in 1998 for his role in releasing selectively edited transcripts of tapes of former Associate Attorney General Webster L. Hubbell's prison conversations. The transcripts had been edited to remove certain comments by Hubbell indicating that Hillary Clinton had done nothing wrong. The Washington Post reported at the time that after "apologiz[ing] to his colleagues for how staffers distributed the tapes," then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) told Burton: "I'm embarrassed for you, I'm embarrassed for myself, and I'm embarrassed for the conference at the circus that went on at your committee."

The May 7, 1998, Post article also reported: "The editing and release of the Hubbell tapes, subpoenaed by the committee last year, was described by one insider as a 'Dave Bossie project,' opposed by the panel's chief counsel and other committee staffers but ultimately approved by Burton." In a May 11, 1998, article, the Post quoted Bossie saying: "I'm not trying to shift the blame to anyone else, but the decision was made above my pay grade to edit the transcripts. ... Once that process was started, I supervised it and the blame automatically fell to me." The Post reported that Bossie "said the charge 'that we purposely edited out' exculpatory material was 'false . . . because there was clearly exculpatory material in the transcripts we released.' "

From the October 28 AP article, "Group releases anti-Obama DVD in 5 newspapers":

Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group based in Washington, plans to release a 95-minute film in the five swing-state publications to highlight Obama's record on abortion rights, foreign policy and his past associations, including his relationship with former pastor Rev. Jermiah Wright. The group said it planned to spend more than $1 million to distribute about 1.25 million copies of "Hype: The Obama Effect."

"We think it's a truthful attack. People can take it anyway they want," said David Bossie, Citizens United's president.

Readers of The Columbus Dispatch received their copy Tuesday. The Cincinnati Enquirer, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post and the Las Vegas Review-Journal are scheduled to receive them in coming days.

The film raises questions about Obama's political base in Chicago and the media's reporting on Obama.

Among those interviewed are conservative columnist Robert Novak, former Clinton strategist-turned-pundit Dick Morris and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and discredited Obama critic Jerome Corsi also give interviews.

Bossie was involved in the House's investigation of President Clinton that led to his Senate impeachment trial.

Obama campaign spokesman Isaac Baker said middle-class families are tired of "slash and burn politics."

Posted In
Government
Network/Outlet
Associated Press
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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