To the Editor
  by William Andrews

To say Beverly Lowry's review of Susan McDougal's book was unbiased is like calling
Ms. Lowry's own journalistic skill adequate. Both statements are patently absurd.

Several portions of Ms. Lowry's review smack of loathing. Or is it envy?
In either case, it is obvious she is not objective.Furthermore, since when does the Times
allow its submissions to contain such egregiously libelous remarks as:

"The future president was governor and the McDougals owned a bank and a savings and loan and
were buying and selling land and, like a lot of other people they knew, making money hand over fist.
Unquestionably, the Clintons took part in Whitewater and irrefutably they and the McDougals
trampled on some rights and bent some rules along the way."

After spending tens of millions of dollars investigating the Clintons, all that was found was that
they lost money in the venture. Despite the assertions of Ms. Lowry, no wrongdoing was unearthed.

In paragraph after paragraph, Ms. Lowry's attacks become increasingly obvious. She begins her review
by inferring that Ms. McDougal has never progressed beyond the defense mechanisms of childhood.
Later she tosses out unfounded accusations that Hillary Clinton benefited from Ms. McDougal's silence.
She then says that Ms. McDougal may have been in love with President Clinton, qualifying it with "some
have said" -- a convenient journalistic escape clause that allows her to make charges, but avoid proving them.

Additionally, Ms. Lowry's attempts to impugn Ms. McDougal's character are childish and obvious,
such as when Ms. Lowry refers to Pat Harris as Ms. McDougal's "former live-in boyfriend," hoping to cast
doubt on the morals of the woman by dropping a trail of literary bread crumbs that lead to licentious behavior.

In what way is that statement germane to the review of the book?
That would be akin to saying, "I hated 'In Cold Blood' because Truman Capote was gay."

Rather than take the reviewer's opinion, one almost expects the review to conclude with,
"nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah." I would ask, but not expect, a retraction of the libel the author
-- and hence the Times -- has hurled at the Clintons and the insult hurled at Ms. McDougal.

It seems that no longer is journalism the honored profession it once was.
It has become little more than a mouthpiece of its corporate masters.

It also seems that the lesson of New York Times v. Sullivan has been forgotten.
It's a shame that it has taken less than 40 years for a once-great bulwark of integrity
and public service to become nothing more than a corporate shill, lobbing verbal
grenades in the hopes that one will destroy the integrity of a woman who decided
to stand up for her principles.

Shame on you.

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