Over at the excellent Investor’s Business Daily editorial website, IBD editorials, the board looks at the Tiffany Network’s decision to hire an old Clinton crony:
After “60 Minutes” used fake documents to accuse President Bush of avoiding war service, how could CBS News possibly stoop lower? By hiring a longtime Clinton crony to rescue its evening news show.
Consider this quote, dating from a few months after Bill Clinton first took office: “If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners.”
Those are not the words of a campaign operative or grass roots fundraiser, but of then-CBS Evening News anchorman Dan Rather, speaking on behalf of himself and co-anchor Connie Chung via satellite to President Clinton during a May, 1993, CBS affiliates meeting.
Rather added, “tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and we’re pulling for her.”
With Rather’s retirement last year, CBS Evening News lost its big Clinton fan to sit in front of the cameras. With former first lady Hillary now running for president, however, the network has decided to place one behind the cameras instead as executive producer.
Rick Kaplan, who calls Dan Rather “the gold standard journalists today have struggled to live up to,” has been a close friend and political adviser of the Clintons all the way back to the 1970s, when the future president was Arkansas attorney general and Kaplan was producing Walter Cronkite.
During the 1992 campaign, while he was executive producer of ABC News’ “Nightline,” Kaplan repeatedly advised Clinton on how to handle the revelation of the then-Arkansas governor’s affair with Gennifer Flowers.
A Newsweek report found Kaplan, while he was CNN president, apparently assisting Al Gore during a debate rehearsal for the 2000 presidential campaign.
Golf with Bill, overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom, a personal two-and-a-half-hour tour of the White House by the president for his 21-year-old daughter are among the perks Kaplan has enjoyed. His response to press questions about the conflict of interest: “It’s nobody’s business…”
Update: Katie’s not happy.
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