Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes defended author Ed Klein's poorly sourced, thoroughly discredited attack book The Truth About Hillary (Sentinel, June 2005), claiming that the media "trashed" Klein's "perfectly respectable, though highly critical" biography of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). As Media Matters for America documented, The Truth About Hillary, which was based largely on unsubstantiated sexual innuendo and outright fabrications, was criticized heavily by both progressive and conservative media figures, including New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, who wrote that "200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another word." Even Klein himself was forced to back away from some of the book's more scurrilous charges.
From Barnes's September 28 Daily Standard online column:
Finally, there's the media, more aptly called the Republican-hating media. We've already seen what they are willing to do to protect Hillary Clinton. They trashed a perfectly respectable, though highly critical, biography of Hillary by veteran newsman Ed Klein. It got so bad that conservatives, too, began attacking his book. If this is happening in 2005, imagine what lengths the press will be willing to go to in 2008 on Hillary's, or another Democrat's, behalf.