Monday, December 12, 2005


Is Capitol Hill Blue a credible source?

I do not believe it is. Its founder, Doug Thompson seems to have a Bob Woodward-style camera inside the most sensitive meetings when he writes pieces such as this one I found on Avedon Carol's otherwise excellent Sideshow: GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” Did this happen? We have Thompson's word that he talked to three people at the meeting. It's possible. According to his bio on the Save America Foundation, he appears to be a longtime Republican operative: Thompson took a sabbatical from newspapers in 1981 and moved to Washington and work on Capitol Hill, where he served as press secretary to two members of Congress (Rep. Paul Findley of Illinois and Rep. Manuel Lujan of New Mexico), Chief of Staff to a third (Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana) and then Special Assistant to the Ranking Member of the House Space, Science and Technology Committee (Lujan again). He also worked on the Reagan-Bush '84 re-election campaign, managed successful Congressional campaigns, did field work for both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee and served as Vice President for Political Programs Administration for the National Association of Realtors from 1987-1992. He later joined The Eddie Mahe Company, a Washington, DC, strategic communications firm, as senior communications associate and remained affiliated with the firm until it was acquired by Foley-Lardner in 2002. The Woodward-style camera should raise red flags. The ties to movement soldiers like Ronald Reagan, Dan Burton and (indirectly) Newt Gingrich should raise more. Speaking of the "Save America Foundation," that Thompson has started, does anyone remember that Linda Tripp was trying to save America? So was L. Jean Lewis of the RTC who started the whole Whitewater scam, perjured herself before the Senate, fainted when caught in perjury, and ended at the center of a much bigger scandal in the Pentagon's Inspector General's office. America just needs to hear both sides, and then it can save itself very nicely thank you very much, Mr. Thompson. Avedon tells me that what Thompson writes pans out better than what the Washington Post and NYT write. That could easily be true. As readers of this site note, I raise the question of whether the NYT is a newspaper or an agency of the US government. I honestly don't know. Neither do I know whether Thompson is an independent or an agent of the radical right. I think he's stretching things to call himself "non-partisan," and a stretch is halfway to a lie. Did Thompson call this one? One investigator told The Rant this week that Starr has enough to indict the First Lady on obstruction of justice and perjury charges, but is holding back because he wants more."When you go after the President's wife, you had better have a rock solid case," he said. "There's no doubt that Hillary is dirty, but Ken wants to make sure there's no wiggle room." This article took me maybe 15 seconds to find. It's far from the wackiest stuff I have seen from Thompson. A good guess is that Thompson was wired into the "elves" who created the impeachment coup, that he's a member of the very, very far right for whom Bush was simply the opening wedge. Or maybe not. I don't have any inside sources. I do know that when you measure someone's track record, you should recall the maxim to measure twice and cut once. Do that with Thompson, and I think you'll find half genius, half kook, and half conman. Update, 12/12: I have noticed a few interesting differences between his bio as listed on Capitol Hill Blue and as listed under the Save America Foundation. I have also verified that the Capitol Hill Blue bio has been edited to remove this information. We report, you decide what it means. Here's the ::cough:: nut 'graf: Thompson took a sabbatical from newspapers in 1981 and moved to Washington to work on Capitol Hill. He served as press secretary for two Congressmen and then Chief of Staff for another before joining the House Committee on Science & Technology. From 1987-1992, Thompson served as Vice President for Political Programs for The National Association of Realtors and then joined The Eddie Mahe Company as a senior associate for Communications. During that stint he became involved in campaign finance issues and was a founding member of the Project for Comprehensive Campaign Reform. He also lectured at the American Campaign Academy and was a sought-after spokesman on campaign finance issues. But journalism remained Thompson's true love and returned to his roots as a free-lance writer and photographer. And then there's this interesting angle on the American Campaign Academy: Gingrich was in a position to know the dangers of mixing tax-deductible dollars and politics as long ago as the late 1980s, when the Internal Revenue Service took the unusual step of denying a tax exemption requested by the American Campaign Academy, a group formed by some Gingrich advisers to train political operatives. One of those who set up the academy, Joseph Gaylord, went on to become Gingrich's top political lieutenant in the period covered by the ethics charges. I find it's interesting that Thompson edited out most of the connections to the hard right. But it's far more interesting that he ridicules people who cite verifiable facts using pen names, while he posts unverifiable claims under his given name. Not everyone shelters under the dark wings of protection of a former Republican Speaker of the House, Mr. Thompson.
The first time I saw an article from Capitol Hill Blue, I went poking around the site to find out what else they published (and therefore whether they were a credible source). I found a report that Hillary Clinton was going to divorce Bill to "dump her baggage" before running for president, and that oh by the way she "prefers the company of women" <wink wink nudge nudge>.

Since reading that tabloid trash in CHB, I haven't taken anything else they've reported seriously.
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