David Brock: The New York Times is "a megaphone for conservative propaganda"

And Republicans worry about internecine fights! David Brock, whose media organization and political action committee have aimed at helping Hillary Clinton return to the White House for months (if not years), has called out the latest member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy … the New York Times? Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Hadas Gold detail the open warfare erupting on the Left:

David Brock’s war against the New York Times just went nuclear — and the paper is responding with equal fury.

Brock, the former right-wing journalist-turned-pro-Clinton crusader, takes aim at a top New York Times editor in a soon-to-be released book obtained by POLITICO. In the book, titled “Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary Clinton and Hijack Your Government,” Brock accuses senior politics editor and former Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan of helping to turn the paper into a “megaphone for conservative propaganda” by unfairly targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. …

“As it concerns Clinton coverage, the Times will have a special place in hell,” he writes, claiming that interviews with current Times employees prove his case.

Meanwhile, the New York Times is shocked, shocked to find that Brock is a partisan attack dog who goes for the personal jugular:

“David Brock is an opportunist and a partisan who specializes in personal attacks,” Eileen Murphy told POLITICO in an email.

“We’ve seen him lash out at some of our aggressive coverage of important political figures and it’s unsurprising that he has now turned personal. He’s wrong on all counts,” she added.

Needless to say, this charge will have the Right laughing and passing the popcorn. Thrush and Gold note that Brock isn’t entirely alone on this, even if his publisher Hachette doesn’t want to specify who — or how many — his sources for this might be. They link to a Lloyd Grove piece from the Daily Beast last week that echoes Brock’s charges, and a portion of his vituperation:

Yet some Clintonites remain deeply suspicious of The Times; the Clintons themselves don’t bother to conceal their resentment of the paper, both claiming inaccurately in their respective autobiographies, My Life (Bill) and Living History(Hillary) that The Times either completely ignored an official 1995 report backing their account of losing money in the Whitewater mess (Bill) or devoted only “a few paragraphs” to it (Hillary), while the paper actually published four different stories—one more than 1,700 words long.

Clinton ally Joe Conason, editor of the liberal-leaning National Memo website and co-author of an e-book, The Hunting of Hillary, told The Daily Beast: “You have to think there’s some institutional imperative at work… Having screwed up something like Whitewater as badly as they did, they think, ‘We’re going to show what these people [the Clintons] are like—they’re full of conflicts, of self-serving deals, cutting corners, and now we have opportunities to show that and we’re going to get those stories, write them, and go after them.’” …

But longtime Clinton sympathizer Gene Lyons—Conason’s co-author as well as a columnist for The Arkansas Times and the National Memo—emailed: “I think it’s abundantly clear that the NYT has some kind of institutional Jones against both Clintons, and pretty much has ever since they came on the national scene. A lot of people in Arkansas think it has to do with simple snobbery about Bill Clinton’s origins. Others speculate that Howell Raines saw him as a rival. I have no idea.”

Interestingly, and in contrast to Brock’s claims to have corroborated this deliberate “conservative megaphone” strategy through NYT insiders, Grove’s sources are all connected to the Clintons. At one point, the Clintonistas suggest to Grove that Ryan is a “sociopath” or “certainly ambitious,” the latter a claim that is practically drenched in irony coming from supporters of either or both Clintons.

Besides, the suggested motives for a Raines-led crusade against the Clintons hardly adds up now. Hillary Clinton’s origins are from the Ivy League and upper-middle-class society, not the hardscrabble beginnings of Bill. She attended Wellesley, got a law degree, and participated in the Watergate probe for Democrats and eventually won a Senate seat in New York, a resumé practically custom-made for the Gray Lady. Raines retired from the paper twelve years ago, and isn’t a rival to anyone, real or imagined. Furthermore, Raines has spent his retirement taking shots at Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, not the Clintons. Casting Raines as the evil genius behind the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is as nutty as calling the paper a megaphone for conservative propaganda.

Speaking of Fox News, though, I assume David Brock won’t be too happy with this depiction of Hillary Clinton’s ability to attract crowds in Ohio:

This is the real reason for Brock’s attacks — he needs to go after those who are reporting reality about Hillary Clinton, and do what he can to kneecap them in any way possible. She’s a poor campaigner and a damaged candidate, with most of that damage self-inflicted rather than the result of a grand conservative conspiracy headed by the New York Times, of all outlets. What’s next — the massive MSNBC plot to elect Ben Carson?

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