In her New York Times review of Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir, Living History, Michiko Kakutani failed to inform readers that the book contained information contending that The New York Times' reporting on the so-called Clinton scandals was false and wrong. Kakutani made similar egregious omissions in her June 20 New York Times review of President Bill Clinton's memoir, My Life.
Unlike The New York Times, Media Matters for America does not yet have a copy of My Life; but we have learned that the former president, in his new book, is critical of The New York Times' coverage of Whitewater -- a fact that Kakutani withheld in her review of My Life, while simultaneously accusing Clinton of lacking candor.
In fact, Bill Clinton is on record in a November 30, 2000, Oval Office interview with The New York Times saying the following about the newspaper: "You guys were wrong about Whitewater. I wish we had the -- that Gertz [sic: Jeff Gerth] piece [on Whitewater] was ridiculous, absurd on its face. I wish we could have had the great New York Times without that."
In her review, Kakutani also falsely accused Clinton of telling "lies" about "real estate." The Whitewater real estate deal was investigated by the Resolution Trust Corporation and no less than three independent counsels with no findings of such purported Clinton "lies" about "real estate."
On FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace suggested that Kakutani's New York Times review would hurt My Life's sales: "We should also point out that The New York Times reviews the Clinton book on the front page today and calls it, quote, 'sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull,'" Wallace said on the June 20 Sunday-morning show, adding, "That will sure sell a lot of books."
On June 20, CNN.com reported that more than 2 million copies of My Life have been pre-ordered. According to publisher Simon & Schuster, CNN also reported, Living History "has about 2.3 million copies in print, including both hardcover and paperback editions" -- despite Kakutani's pan.
The index to Living History catalogued the following: "New York Times, 25, 31, 106, 138, 139-140, 194, 199, 223-224, 327, 453, 521 ... Whitewater coverage by, 199, 206, 328, 329, 346, 347."
Among these references are:
"The result was the first 'Whitewater' story, an article that appeared on the front page of the New York Times in March 1992, in the middle of the Democratic primaries. Jim McDougal was quoted throughout the piece, liberally planting false information about our partnership. The writer made much of our 'complicated relationship' with McDougal and erroneously implied that he had made us money in the Whitewater deal and received favors in return."
"In mid-March, The New York Times ran a front-page article headlined TOP ARKANSAS LAWYER HELPED HILLARY CLINTON TURN BIG PROFIT. The story accurately reported the profits I had made in the commodities markets in 1979. But it falsely implied that our close friend Jim Blair had somehow engineered my windfall in order to gain influence with Bill Clinton on behalf of his client Tyson Foods. The story was filled with inaccuracies about Blair's and Don Tyson's relationship with Bill when he was Governor. Yet again, I wondered why such stories were printed before they were verified."
"Days after her memorable and self-destructing testimony, The New York Times continued to give credence to [Jean] Lewis's unsubstantiated accusations and to refer to her as a 'star witness.'"
"Like Jean Lewis's discredited testimony, the report [the 1995 Resolution Trust Corporation report exonerating the Clintons of any wrongdoing in Whitewater] was minimally covered in the news media. USA Today didn't acknowledge it at all; The Washington Post buried the news paragraph 11 of a front-page story about Whitewater subpoenas and The New York Times ran a few paragraphs on the report."
"William Safire, a former Nixon speechwriter, called me a 'congenital liar' in his New York Times column."