Howard Kurtz Libels Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
by DCDave

In the 1997 book by the Sunday Telegraph of London's Washington correspondent, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, entitled The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, the Unreported Stories, one can find on pages 199-200 the following passage: 

The Daily Telegraph of London was founded in 1855, four years after The New York Times. It had a good run covering the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, then settling down as the voice of yeoman England, advancing the purposes of the Anglican Church, the Union, and always, without question, supporting Her Majesty's Dragoon Guards wherever they were deployed.

For a while The Telegraph was the newspaper of the Empire, although for some reason it has been more muted on this subject lately. Its historic triumph was to recognize early in the 1930s that fascism was an exceedingly nasty movement, and a threat to the European order. This was not obvious to everybody. The Times of London, representing the prevailing mood of the ruling class, belittled such concerns, ridiculed Winston Churchill, and supported the Tory appeasement of Adolf Hitler until the very end.

By the mid-1990s The Telegraph was still fighting for Church, Queen, and Country, this time struggling to prevent the United Kingdom from being subsumed into a sort of Vichy II--a European superstate run by the Germans and the French, and administered from Brussels under the terms of the Treaty of Maastricht.

The newspaper is doing very well. Now owned by a Canadian proprietor, Conrad Black (who also owns The Jerusalem Post and The Chicago Sun Times, among others), the circulation of The Daily Telegraph is around 1.2 million, the highest figure for a "quality" newspaper in western Europe. The Sunday Telegraph has a circulation approaching 800,000, but no less influence.

Both the daily and the Sunday editions are large broadsheet papers, a fact that is well displayed on the newsstand of any Washington hotel. So it was with some consternation that I read a 331-page report by the White House Counsel's Office calling The Sunday Telegraph a "tabloid."

It is hard to believe that the authors of this remarkable document--"Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce"--were so provincial that they did not know the difference between The Telegraph and The Times, on one side of Fleet Street, and The Sun or The Mirror with their page three topless girls, on the other. Since this White House is stuffed with Oxonian Rhodes Scholars I have to assume that the smear was deliberate. The authors issued a report at taxpayers' expense, with the full imprimatur of the White House counsel's Office, that published assertions they knew to be false. It violates the cardinal rule of Washington spin: Never get caught propagating a demonstrable lie, and this one was quite demonstrable. Even under America's forgiving libel laws, it was defamatory.  

Talk about a deliberate smear using a demonstrable lie! Please don't waste your money on it, but do as I did at my local bookstore and check out what Washington Post "media critic," Howard Kurtz, has to say about Evans-Pritchard and his newspaper in his just-published Spin Cycle. Even though the Evans-Pritchard book has been out for several months, setting the record straight for anyone who needed it, Kurtz, when it comes to Evans-Pritchard and The Telegraph, treats this White House lie as Holy Writ. Once again, Evans-Pritchard is said to be writing for a "British tabloid" with such stories as that about Sally Miller Perdue and her affair with Clinton (and subsequent death threats by the Clinton goons that Kurtz does not mention) that "not even the National Enquirer" would touch. Ignorant Americans reading what this naked propagandist Kurtz has to say would come away believing that The Telegraph has lower standards of probity and a lesser reputation in the world than an American supermarket scandal sheet.

So I shall continue to heap scorn in this forum (Usenet) upon The Washington Post and its many American counterparts. They not only suppress important news like the forgery findings of the handwriting examiners in the Foster case, the appending of the devastating Clarke-Knowlton letter to the report of the Independent Counsel on Vincent Foster's death, and the local murders of Tommy Burkett, Paul Wilcher, and Tina Ricca, but to protect those in power they lie like dogs. Howard Kurtz, whom you will often see on the weekend on network television offering his pearls of wisdom wholesale to the benighted American public, is Exhibit A. 

David Martin, March 7, 1998

p.s. If they ever make an All the President's Men sort of movie about Whitewater, I suggest Jon Lovitz for the role of Kurtz. He even looks a lot like him. Or should he play Michael Isikoff? Tough call.

See also "Gene Lyons, Paid Liar, Murder Enabler."

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