Newman claimed Hillary Clinton only "allowed some military uniforms" in White House

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

After a caller claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) is "not going to allow any [military uniforms] in the White House," Newsradio 850 KOA host "Gunny" Bob Newman repeated the myth that Clinton only "allowed some military uniforms" in the White House when she was first lady. In fact, numerous media reports have debunked the claim about Clinton's supposed ban on military uniforms, as Colorado Media Matters noted when Newman made a similar assertion on a previous broadcast.

Prompted by a caller to his November 26 show, Newsradio 850 KOA's "Gunny" Bob Newman repeated the debunked assertion that as first lady, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) only "allowed some military uniforms" in the White House. Newman cited right-wing author and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson's book Dereliction of Duty (Regnery, March 2003) to support his contention that military uniforms were "offensive" to the "Clintonista regime."

However, The Washington Post reported on April 1, 1993, that Clinton's supposed ban "didn't happen," as Colorado Media Matters noted when Newman made a similar assertion on his August 25, 2006, broadcast. Moreover, Media Matters for America has documented that Patterson later echoed the dubious uniforms assertion by claiming that when he worked in the White House in 1996 Clinton "wanted to outlaw uniforms, military uniforms in the White House," and that Patterson's account of Clinton's purported plan to ban military uniforms in the White House varies with each telling.

From the November 26 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Gunny Bob Show:

CALLER: I called about [U.S. Sen.] Trent [Lott (R-MS)], but let me say something about Diana DeGette. Diana -- the troops are coming home. Will they be wearing their uniforms? Because we know Hillary's not going to allow any in the White House, and I imagine her "don't ask, don't tell," and the policy of no military in the White House with uniforms, I imagine there's no reason why she can't just do it countrywide, right? I mean, let's just go ahead and strip the -- you know, bottom line is, these two libs -- what a love fest, but Diana DeGette will always have her job there because of the dumb-ass liberals in Denver that are gonna vote in that district that are gonna vote her in. And there's a lot of stupid women out there, Gunny Bob, that are going to vote for Hillary lock, stock --

NEWMAN: Oh, there are a lot of stupid men too, [caller]. And at the same time --

CALLER: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.

NEWMAN: Now, you do know that Hillary did allow some -- only a few -- she allowed some military uniforms like, you know, the Marines who were standing outside opening the doors and stuff like that. But if you read Colonel "Buzz" Patterson's book Dereliction of Duty, he was there, and he got the memo, and, you know, who was allowed to wear because, you know -- and how offensive military uniforms were to the Clintonista regime, you know. But they knew they had to allow a handful of them in there, you know, so that they could have --

CALLER: Right.

The allegation that Clinton imposed a ban on the wearing of military uniforms in the White House was reported as early as April 1, 1993, in a Post article [by subscription or purchase only] that referred to "[a] whole series of apocryphal anecdotes [that] have made the rounds and fed military disaffection." With regard to "the one about Hillary Rodham Clinton's ban on uniforms in the White House," the Post reported that it "didn't happen." Similarly, Newsweek reported in December 2005 that "[t]here are still soldiers who swear by the myth that she banned uniforms at the White House." In its March 15, 1993, edition, U.S. News & World Report reported, "Among other poisonous rumors is the tale that the Clintonites are preparing to order military personnel to wear civilian clothes, not their uniforms, whenever they enter the White House." U.S. News noted that the White House denied the story.

Moreover, as Media Matters noted, Patterson's story of Clinton's purported "edict" -- which he says occurred in 1996 "when he first arrived" at the White House -- echoes the claim about Clinton that the Post debunked in 1993. And Patterson's version of how he learned of Clinton's purported plan to ban military uniforms in the White House when he worked there in 1996 varies with each telling. In Dereliction of Duty, Patterson claimed that he had learned of Clinton's supposed desire to ban military uniforms from his predecessor. When Slate.com's Timothy Noah wrote about stories surrounding Clinton's purported aversion to military uniforms in the White House, Patterson responded by asserting that he "had firsthand knowledge of the First Lady's edict." In yet another retelling, Patterson told author Edward Klein, "The directive came down from Hillary through the President's chief of staff, Leon Panetta."

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