In December of 1996, James Carville, who was the campaign manager for then-President Bill Clinton, announced plans to launch an all-out media war against Kenneth Starr.
Starr was the independent counsel looking into, among other things, Clinton’s sexual involvement with a 22-year-old White House intern and his sworn testimony provided during a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
The investigation headed by Starr led to the eventual impeachment of the 42nd President of the United States.
Amid the heat of the political drama, Carville, as well as various other White House staffers, took to the broadcast and cable news airwaves to personally denounce Starr.
Then-presidential adviser Paul Begala appeared on Larry King’s CNN talk show and characterized Starr’s conduct in the capacity of special prosecutor as absurd, frightening, and criminal.
Then-press secretary Mike McCurry called for an investigation by the Justice Department, alleging that Starr had leaked grand-jury information to the press.
Use of the preferred weapon of character assassination against Starr was purportedly the brainchild of Carville, along with Clinton administration strategists that included then-White House communications director George Stephanopoulos.
The end game was the destruction of the targeted individual’s reputation and character.
To his credit, Clinton’s former special counsel Lanny Davis once admitted the following:
“Whenever I went off the facts and into attacks on Starr, I felt very uncomfortable.”
Davis may be feeling pangs of discomfort as he watches mistreatment that is reminiscent of the kind Starr endured, this time being heaped upon FBI Director James Comey.
Comey recently made an announcement, via a letter to the U.S. Congress, relaying information that the FBI was examining new emails related to its investigation of the private email server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In what looks to be an unwelcome consequence for Comey, there now appears to be a concerted effort to Ken Starr him.
Once again it is Democrats who are lined up on the political battlefield to this time defend a would-be president.
Forces have been sent out to write articles and editorials for news publications. Accomplices in the mainstream media are spreading a singular narrative. And surrogate spokespersons are making appearances on broadcast and cable news channels.
There is an attempt on the part of Hillary and her allies to slowly transform Comey into a caricature of a government official who misuses his position of power for political purposes.
When answering questions from reporters, Hillary falsely claimed that Comey had only sent the letter to Republican lawmakers. The FBI director had in fact sent the letter to both Republican and Democrat members of Congress, as is stated on the document itself.
Hillary’s two top campaign staffers, Robby Mook and John Podesta, joined in on the attacks against Comey. Mook characterized Comey's letter to Congress as “long on innuendo and short on facts,” and Podesta said that the director had “not been forthcoming with the facts.”
The New York Times published an opinion piece written by Minnesota law professor and former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter. Painter is a self-identified Republican who has endorsed Hillary.
In the editorial, Painter claims that the FBI director broke the law with his letter to Congress by violating the Hatch Act in making “highly unusual public statements about an FBI investigation concerning a candidate in the election.”
CNN legal analyst Paul Callan went as far to suggest that Comey submit his resignation.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman engaged in digital innuendo against Comey on social media.
“Comey needs to provide full info immediately. Otherwise he has clearly made a partisan intervention, betraying his office,” Krugman tweeted.
The Daily Beast put out a Comey hit piece with the headline “Republicans Weaponize James Comey’s FBI To Kneecap Hillary Clinton.” The article essentially claims that Comey’s actions are a partisan witch hunt.
The Washington Post published an opinion piece titled, “James Comey is Damaging our Democracy.” The editorial accused Comey of “putting a thumb on the scale of this election.”
The Clinton campaign has on several occasions made insinuations involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and the GOP presidential candidate.
Hillary surrogate and former Vermont governor Howard Dean has now invoked Putin’s name in relation to Comey and his reopening of the investigation into Hillary's classified emails.
“Ironically Comey put himself on the same side as Putin,” Dean recently tweeted.
Another Democrat, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, raised the Russia specter. While appearing with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Ryan said, “So the question is: Where did these [new emails] come from? How did they get to the FBI? Is Russia involved in this? We don’t have a clue where this stuff is coming from.”
A Democratic group has filed a formal complaint against Comey with the Department of Justice in which the organization makes the charge that the FBI director is interfering in the presidential election.
Scott Dworkin is a senior adviser to the group and was evidently trying to disparage Comey with the following remarks:“It is absolutely absurd that FBI director Comey would support Donald Trump like this with only 11 days to go before the election,” calling Comey's letter “an obvious attack from a lifelong Republican who used to serve in the Bush White House, just to undermine her [Hillary’s] campaign.”
After having heaped praise on the FBI director’s July announcement that he would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have reversed course and are on the Comey attack.
So too are California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Hillary’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine.
Immediately following Comey’s announcement about reopening the case, Hillary cautiously tiptoed around the issue and called on Comey to release additional information.
But in less than 24 hours, the strategy would take a dramatic turn, morphing into a full-blown effort to destroy a man’s credibility, reputation, and even his career.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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