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Wed May 24, 2017, 09:11 AM

We've Seen This Clinton Conspiracy Movie Before -- And It Still Stinks

Joe Conason

We’ve Seen This Clinton Conspiracy Movie Before — And It Still Stinks

May 23, 2017 10:55 pm

Back in 2000, I interviewed the late Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of Joe Conason’s and my book The Hunting of the President. It took place at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA. We were surprised he agreed to speak with us, as an entire chapter of the book dealt with The Clinton Chronicles, a bizarre video Falwell promoted on his syndicated TV program The Old Time Gospel Hour.

A near-delusional concatenation of preposterous falsehoods and conspiracy theories, the video presented the then-President (and his wife) as an embezzler, drug smuggler, and serial killer. Supposedly, Bill Clinton routinely had his political rivals murdered, which in a small state like Arkansas, you’d think local reporters might have noticed.

Almost needless to say, the fool thing sold like gangbusters. It was reportedly shown in evangelical churches. As H.L. Mencken used to say, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

Alas, to many voters, the real world give and take of democratic politics isn’t exciting enough. They require End Times melodrama: salvation vs. damnation, good vs. evil. Your candidate’s a savior; his opponent’s satanic.

Anyway, when Falwell brought his road show to Arkansas, the pastor of Little Rock’s largest Baptist church denied him its pulpit. He explained that by promoting a scurrilous video filled with falsehoods about the Clintons and many other Arkansans, the portly televangelist had violated the Ninth Commandment against bearing false witness.


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