Five Reasons The Media Shouldn't Trust Discredited Journalist Ed Klein
Research ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN
Despite being exposed as a self-promoting smear peddler after having his work repeatedly debunked, discredited author and conspiracy theorist Ed Klein has been repeatedly given a platform by many in the right-wing media. Here are the top five reasons the media should not trust Klein's shoddy work.
Klein: Bill Clinton Outlined Plan For His Own Funeral To Get Hillary Votes
New York Post Excerpts Unsourced Claim From Newest Klein Book. In an excerpt of his latest book published in the New York Post on June 29, Ed Klein claimed to have insider knowledge of a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton, outlinining an unsourced and ridiculous plot between the couple to use Bill Clinton's possible death as "an asset" for her campaign:
"I'm worried how my health will affect your campaign," he said. "I have to do all I can to prepare the campaign playbooks, but I also have to accept the fact that if I fall by the wayside, you have to continue without me and make a positive thing out of it."
"A positive thing?" Hillary said. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"Obviously, you have to have a big state funeral for me, with as much pomp and circumstance as possible," he said. "I'm thinking maybe I should be buried at Arlington [National Cemetery] rather than at my library in Little Rock. After all, I was commander in chief for eight years and have every right to be buried at Arlington."
"Bill!" Hillary said, trying to interrupt his train of thought.
"I'm going to plan this thing out in detail," he said.
"I don't want to hear this!" Hillary said.
"Wear your widow's weeds, so people will feel sympathy for you. Wear black for a decent mourning period and make my death an asset. The images on television of the funeral and the grieving widow in black will be priceless.
"When I'm gone, people will think only of my good points and forgive, if not forget, the bad. I'll be remembered in a positive light more in death than I was in life. That always happens.
Everybody knows that. So you'll have to take maximum advantage of my death."
"Bill...," Hillary said.
"It should be worth a couple of million votes," he said. [New York Post, 6/29/14]
Klein Concocted Bogus Claim That Bill Clinton Sexually Assaulted Hillary Clinton
Klein: Chelsea Clinton Was Conceived Through Rape. In Ed Klein's 2005 book The Truth About Hillary, he alleged that Chelsea Clinton was conceived during a vacation in Bermuda where Bill Clinton raped his wife. According to the footnotes, this claim was predicated on an interview with a single anonymous source who supposedly "was with the Clintons in Bermuda." [Media Matters, 6/23/05]
Klein Later Walked Back False Rape Allegation. On the June 22, 2005 edition of Sean Hannity's radio program, Hannity questioned Klein about the claim made in his book that former-President Bill Clinton had raped Hillary Clinton. Klein walked-back the assertion, time noting that his "source never said Bill raped Hillary" and claiming that the original statement the allegation was predicated on may have been made in "jest" by Bill Clinton. Throughout the interview and in later appearances, Klein changed his story on who his sources for the claim were. [Media Matters, 6/22/05, 6/28/05]
Klein's Repeated Sexist Health-Based Attacks On Hillary Clinton
Klein: Hillary Clinton Is "Not Looking Good These Days. She's Looking Overweight, And She's Looking Very Tired." During a June 4, 2012 appearance on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Klein promoted his anti-Obama book, The Amateur, and offered his thoughts on a possible 2016 run for the White House by Hillary Clinton. Klein lobbed personal attacks about Clinton's healthtelling listeners that she is "not looking good these days." [Fox News Radio, Kilmeade & Friends, 6/5/12, via Media Matters]
Klein Again Tries To Discredit Hillary Clinton's Health Claims "She Doesn't Look Well." During a June 23 interview for The Sean Hannity Show, Klein again made baseless allegations about Clinton's health in an attempt to discredit a potential 2016 run for president, claiming that Clinton "doesn't look in shape" and "doesn't look well." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/23/14, via Media Matters]
Klein Has History Of Publishing False Allegations
ThinkProgress: "Klein Has A History Of Publishing Demonstrably False Allegations About Obama As Fact." According to a June 2012 report by ThinkProgress, Klein published a false report about President Obama. Pointing to a 2010 article Klein published in the Huffington Post, they note that a simple phone call would have disproved his assertion that Obama left a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister in order to have dinner with his family:
In a 2010 entry in The Huffington Post, Klein detailed President Obama's "humiliation" of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, claiming that sources told him of Obama leaving during a meeting with Netenyahu to have dinner with Michelle and their two daughters. One phone call would have revealed that to be impossible, since Michelle, Sasha and Malia were all in New York City at the time." [ThinkProgress, 5/12/12]
Even Conservatives Question Klein's Credibility
Fox's Kilmeade Questions Unsourced Quotes In Klein's Latest Book. Following the release of Klein's latest book Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas, the discredited journalist's heavy use of unnamed sources were widely questioned, even by conservatives who previously promoted his work. On the June 23 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade questioned a quote from Klein's book that claimed to report on a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton. From the show:
KILMEADE: Now, who is his source? Chelsea? I mean, how would you possibly get in between them?" Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh also questioned the unsourced quotes, noting that "some of the quotes strike me as odd, in the sense that I don't know people who speak this way" and dismissing them as sounding like "grade school chatter." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/23/14, via Media Matters]
Fox News Panel Pushed Back Against Klein's "Too Good To Be True" Allegations. After the release of Ed Klein's 2012 biography of President Barack Obama, The Amateur, even Fox News questioned the author's credibility. During a May 11 segment of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox News contributor Doug Schoen said that Klein was not credible, while Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto agreed that his claims were "too good to be true." [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 5/11/12, via Media Matters]
Washington Examiner's Byron York: Klein's Book Was "Denounced As A Whole Pack Of Lies." During a May 2012 discussion of Klein's anti-Obama book on Fox News' On The Record, Washington Examiner's Byron York pointed out that Klein has been widely denounced for his lies: (emphasis added)
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Who is this author?
YORK: Edward Klein is a former editor of The New York Times Sunday magazine, has written a number of kind of deep inside tell-all books. His last book in 2005 about Hillary Clinton was extremely controversial, claimed that she was a lesbian and all sorts of kind of out-there stuff. It was denounced as a whole pack of lies by everybody involved.
VAN SUSTEREN: And others. Besides everybody involved, but people who were...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, it wasn't just the sort of the inner circle of the Clintons who denounced it.
YORK: Yes, it...
VAN SUSTEREN: It was widely denounced. [Fox News, On The Record, 5/11/12, via Media Matters]
Even Rush Limbaugh Dismissed Klein's Unsourced Quotes. On the June 23 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh questioned Klein's unsourced quotes from his latest book, Blood Feud. Limbaugh remarked that "some of the quotes strike me as odd, in the sense that I don't know people who speak this way." Limbaugh dismissed them as sounding like "grade school chatter. [Premiere Radio Networks,The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/23/14, via Media Matters ]