Criticizing Media Matters, Human Events writer affirmed Buchanan's purported "non-medical diagnosis" of Clinton

››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

In a May 18 article responding to a May 16 Media Matters for America item on Republican strategist Bay Buchanan's suggestion in her new book, The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regnery Publishing), that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, Human Events news producer Ericka Andersen claimed that the omission of an endnote in which Buchanan purported to offer the symptoms of the disorder "was the only basis for Media Matters' hit job on Buchanan's non-medical diagnosis."

In fact, Media Matters went beyond the absence of an endnote to note that in the book, Buchanan -- even as she acknowledged that she is not a "medical professional" -- charged that Clinton suffers from a "debilitating" insecurity, which Buchanan further suggested might in fact be a personality disorder that Buchanan reportedly said "could make her dangerously ill-suited to become President and Commander-in-Chief." What Andersen referred to as Buchanan's "non-medical diagnosis" undermines the purported authority of the book to, as the dust jacket claims, "penetrate[] to her [Clinton's] core as no author has ever done." Media outlets hosting Buchanan to promote her book without challenging her claims about Clinton lend credibility to a book that contains as one of its major contentions -- that Clinton suffers from a "debilitating" insecurity that might actually be symptomatic of an even more serious personality disorder -- an allegation made by someone possessing no qualifications and offering no authority to support it.

Additionally, Andersen claimed that "based solely on this endnote's omission," Media Matters "began a campaign to boycott Buchanan and the publicity of her book." Andersen then excerpted a portion of an email sent by Media Matters' Director of Media Relations Karl Frisch to television and radio shows on which Buchanan was scheduled to appear to discuss her book that said, "I'm sure you'll agree that any discussion with Buchanan on the contents of her book should include pointed questions about her unsubstantiated conclusions and the lack of proper citation." The email contained no language encouraging the media to "boycott Buchanan" or her book.

Frisch's email, in its entirety, said:

Since [name of television show] will be hosting Bay Buchanan on [date of scheduled appearance] to discuss her new book, The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regnery Publishing), I wanted to bring this item Media Matters for America released yesterday to your attention. As you will see Buchanan notes in her book that she is not "a medical professional" but nonetheless asserts that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) is defined by a "debilitating" "lack of confidence and self-esteem," adding that "[a]fter days of research, I was led to a fascinating field of study involving narcissistic personality style." Referring to an endnote that apparently does not exist in her book, Buchanan purports to offer "symptoms of the related disorder." While claiming in the book that she "pass[es] no judgment as to whether this shoe fits the Lady Hillary," Buchanan reportedly does not refrain from suggesting dire consequences if her suspicion of such a disorder is accurate. In a May 14 Human Events article on the book, news producer Ericka Anderson [sic] quoted Buchanan saying, "[W]e are talking about a clinical condition that could make her [Clinton] dangerously ill-suited to become President and Commander-in-Chief."

I'm sure you'll agree that any discussion with Buchanan on the contents of her book should include pointed questions about her unsubstantiated conclusions and the lack of proper citation. It should also be noted that Buchanan is a senior advisor to the presidential campaign of Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO). If you have any questions or need more information I am available at your convenience.

The email then provided a copy of Media Matters' original item.

Andersen printed what she said was Buchanan's missing endnote in her May 18 article -- which cited the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSMIV) and listed the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder -- and wrote, "I'm no more a psychiatrist than Buchanan is, but I can read: It's pretty clear from the DSMIV that Hillary (and probably her husband as well) qualify as textbook narcissists."

As Media Matters previously noted, Human Events and Regnery Publishing are both subsidiaries of Eagle Publishing, a "leading conservative publishing company."

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Human Events
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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