In presidential library opening, FOX News found a chance to bash Clintons
Research ››› ››› JEREMY CLUCHEY
Throughout FOX News Channel's daytime coverage of the November 18 Clinton Presidential Center opening in Little Rock, Arkansas, FOX hosts and contributors strove to make up for what host Brian Kilmeade called "the lack of talk about the impeachment" in the library. In addition to fixating on the circumstances surrounding former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, FOX News Channel senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano falsely asserted on FOX & Friends First that Clinton "committed a federal felony by lying under oath."
In fact, the Senate acquitted Clinton. In order for a lie under oath to amount to perjury -- as Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) explained on the floor of the Senate on February 12, 1999 -- it must be "material" to the underlying case. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that Clinton's deposition in the Monica Lewinsky case was immaterial to the sexual harassment suit that Paula Jones brought against Clinton. As a judge, Napolitano almost certainly knows that as a legal matter, Clinton is not guilty of a felony.
FOX News Channel hosts offered sarcastic and disdainful comments throughout their coverage of the library opening. During FOX & Friends First, Kilmeade remarked of the section of the center detailing Clinton's impeachment, "Some people think it's not a big enough wing." Later in the same show, Napolitano asked, "why isn't [Monica Lewinsky's blue] dress there?" and asserted that "[t]he dress changed the course of American history."
On FOX & Friends, Dick Morris, a former Clinton adviser turned critic and FOX News Channel political analyst, returned to his habit of attacking Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Morris, author of Rewriting History (Regan Books, an imprint of Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins Publishers, 2004) -- which is described on the book's dust jacket as "a rebuttal to Hillary's bestselling autobiography" Living History -- called Senator Clinton "the leading practitioner of the politics of personal destruction."
And on DaySide w/ Linda Vester, host Vester ridiculed Clinton's statement to ABC News anchor Peter Jennings that "you don't have any example where I ever lied to the American people about my job, where I ever let the American people down," telling her audience, "I'm not making this up, it's a quote." On the same program, FOX News Channel senior White House correspondent Jim Angle mocked "the vast right-wing conspiracy that Hillary Clinton talked about." And Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and a regular FOX News Channel contributor, said of the Clinton presidency: "[T]here wasn't much there other than scandal."