NY Times' Healy, USA Today advanced myth that Clinton switched baseball allegiances

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In an October 26 New York Times article, staff writer Patrick Healy reported that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "took a rare shot at an old New York rival and current Republican presidential candidate, Rudolph W. Giuliani, for saying he would root for the [Boston] Red Sox [against the Colorado Rockies] in the World Series." Healy was referring to Giuliani's recent statement that he will "root[] for the Red Sox" -- longtime rivals of the New York Yankees -- despite being a longtime Yankees fan. Healy continued: "Giuliani, a Yankees fan, has mocked Mrs. Clinton over the years for professing allegiance to the Yankees, even though she grew up a Chicago Cubs fan and recently said she would split her loyalty between those teams if they met in the World Series." Similarly, side-by-side photographs of Clinton wearing a Yankees cap in one and a Cubs cap in the other accompanied an October 26 online article on USA Today's website. The caption read: "Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she has split allegiances, rooting for her childhood team, the Cubs, as well as the New York Yankees now that she is a resident and senator of New York." However, the idea that Clinton proclaimed herself a Yankees fan only after she decided to run for a New York Senate seat or that she "switched allegiance" from the Cubs to the Yankees during her Senate campaign is a myth commonly repeated in the media that is not supported by evidence. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton's 2003 autobiography, Living History (Simon & Schuster), contains a photograph of her wearing a Yankees cap in 1992 -- eight years before she ran for the Senate. Further, The Washington Post reported on September 12, 1994, that "Mrs. Clinton ... as a kid was a 'big-time' fan of the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and 'understudied' Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle."

Below are the photographs and caption from the October 26 USA Today online article, headlined "Baseball bosses play on political field":

Clinton in a Yankee's cap; Clinton in a Cub cap

Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she has split allegiances, rooting for her childhood team, the Cubs, as well as the New York Yankees now that she is a resident and senator of New York.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
The New York Times, USA Today
Person
Patrick Healy
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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