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The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton Hardcover – Mar 9 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 9 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312245475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312245474
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,485,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Unhappy reading for Republicans or political naïfs, The Hunting of the President is the story of a sustained and well-funded effort to discredit and defeat Bill Clinton, dating from his gubernatorial days in Arkansas and eventually leading to his impeachment trial. Award-winning journalists Joe Conason and Gene Lyons have crafted a tale as compulsively readable as a political thriller--paced, and at times worded, like a summer bestseller. Although they provide ample evidence of backstabbing, revenge, deceit, conniving, and "dirty tricks" in the struggle to oust Clinton, arguing that "the better the president and the country did, the more his adversaries appeared willing to endorse almost anything short of assassination to do him in," they also acknowledge that Clinton's reckless behavior, along with the "panicky, defensive, and occasionally less-than-perfectly-honest" responses of the White House press office, didn't hurt his opponents. Investigative journalism at its juiciest, The Hunting of the President is a surprising valediction to a far-from-angelic public leader who often outmaneuvered his enemies with otherworldly skill. --Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly

Conason and Lyons (Fools for Scandal), veteran journalists respectively for the New York Observer and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, argue that if the opposition to the Clintons didn't quite constitute a "vast right-wing conspiracy," as the First Lady famously alleged, it was at the very least a "loose cabal" of "Clinton adversaries,... an angry gallery of defeated politicians,... right-wing pamphleteers, wealthy eccentrics, zany private detectives, religious fanatics and die-hard segregationists." They reveal how notable right-wingers like Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Carnegie Mellon fortune) and Jerry Falwell bankrolled the muckraking that led to scandals like Whitewater and Troopergate, neither of which, the authors claim, ever produced evidence of Clinton misconduct. Conason and Lyons also point out the ultraconservative credentials of Paula Jones's supporters, including Kenneth Starr, who privately abetted the harassment suit before he was appointed as a supposedly independent counsel. But what disturbs Conason and Lyons even more than the zeal of these conservative critics is the conduct of the national press. They make a case that their colleagues at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere colluded with the most unsavory elements of the fringe right to bring unverified and frequently libelous allegations into the center of the mainstream media. The story of the Clinton scandals is a tortuous, labyrinthine puzzle, and Conason and Lyons do their best to simplify it. But their cast of characters is enormous, and their research overwhelming. Readers may not ultimately agree with the authors that the tactics of the Clinton enemies were worse than any mistake made by the president, but they will nevertheless gain a considerably more balanced and complex picture of the road to impeachment. 16 pages b&w photos. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT details, in shattering and infuriating detail, how the Republican Party spent more than $70,000,000 of our tax money in a ten year crusade to bring down Bill and Hillary Clinton. The fact that the campaign ultimately failed does not make the attempt any less odious. A remarkably well funded cabal of Clinton-hating obsessives (many of them with strictly personal grudges against the man) utilized intensely hate-filled and slanderous smear techniques that had never before been seen in such a widely organized manner. This book makes a strong case that there was indeed a vast right-wing conspiracy behind it all. But, as authors Joe Conason and Gene Lyons reveal, the smear attack would have gone nowhere without the full culpability of the media. Magazines, newspapers and TV/Radio stations quickly jumped on and promoted every deliberately planted innuendo, rumor, and false allegation, happily spreading each juicy and slanderous tidbit to a gullible public. When the great majority of these wild tales were proven to be devoid of any semblance of truth, few of these media outlets could be bothered to offer retractions. Even today, "journalists" still try to use the long-ago destroyed myth of Whitewater as some kind of indicator/proof of Clinton's alleged evil.
Conason and Lyons have given us one of the great works of modern investigative reporting, fully revealing all the major players who funded and/or assisted the campaign, including Richard Mellon Scaife, Reverend Moon, and the odious Ann Coulter, as well as a slew of corrupt politicians, state troopers, and women with shady pasts who, rather predictably, all ended up much richer for their time and efforts.
THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT has recently been adapted into a much praised documentary film.
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Format: Paperback
I always thought there was some truth to Hillary's contention that someone was "out to get" them, but after reading this well-documented historical tome, I am more convinced than ever that President and Mrs. Clinton were like deer in the forest on the first day of hunting season.
For the record, I really don't care about how much he philandered.... that has never stopped any president before him from making progress, and it was no reason to stop him. I may not want to be married to the guy, but I still say that my paycheck went farther and my economy was better when he was in charge. If only George Dubya had such a libido, perhaps we would all be better off now.
The ultra-conservative right-wing machine ("The Arkansas Project") designed to bring Clinton to his knees gives new meaning to the term "axis of evil." To h*ll with Iraq, let's bomb the "Council of National Policy." Somebody PLEASE impeach Jerry Falwell, that lousy fat piece of hypocritical (...) matter (my opinion, which I am entitled to) who proclaims to be a "man of God."
Just read the book, if you haven't already. It's a fantastic journey that will make you rethink a lot of what you heard in the press during the past 14-15 years.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an incredible achievement, based on exhaustive reviews and footnotes. I don't automatically read something and believe it 100 percent, but if Conason and Lyons have documented HALF of their research and interviews accurately (and based on their reputations, I'd believe it's significantly higher than that), many, many Republicans have a great deal to apologize for.
Conason and Lyons perform a devastating autopsy on the right's campaign to destroy Clinton before he even announced his candidacy for president in 1991, through both terms of his presidency. As someone who voted for Clinton twice (and would happily do so again), I knew Clinton had enemies, but I didn't know he had this many who were this menacing.
The authors lay out in stunning detail the lies and half truths that were willingly perpetrated by the mainstream media, discussing topics like the Foster suicide (many were convinced/hoping that it was a Clinton-sponsored murder), Troopergate, Filegate, Ken Starr and the wanton abuse of his Independent Council powers and much, much more. The above topics have been discussed ad nauseum in other books and articles, but the authors go further, detailing the many right-wing backed publications such as The American Spectator, the wealthy right wing tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife and his backing of the Arkansas Project, William Renquist and his role in Whitewater and the Starr appointment, and most importantly in this reader's eyes, how the first independent council, Robert Fiske, was ousted after he couldn't find any wrongdoing on the part of the Clintons. This paved the way for Starr's appointment, who would stop at nothing to get something on the Clintons.
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Format: Paperback
THE HUNTING OF THE PRESIDENT was a late addition to Austin's SXSW Film Festival last week, the film's second festival showing (after Sundance) before its formal New York premiere in June 2004.
BUSH'S BRAIN, a documentary about evil Bush fetishist Karl Rove, had its world premiere in Austin the previous week at the same venue, Austin's beautifully restored 1930's era movie palace the Paramount Theater. As good as BRAIN was, THOTP was even better.
This film has everything I ask for when it comes to documentaries about Democrats vs Republicans: heroes (Susan McDougal; the serene Clintons; Conason, Lyons, Begala, and James Carville); villains (Ken Starr, Paula Jones, Jerry Falwell, and various amateur crooks, liars, bimbos, racists, political opportunists, media whores, religious nuts, and the mentally ill); and in-between (David Brock, who wears a white hat these days). The evil that men do to the Clintons lives after them; the bastard child of Paula Jones and Ken Starr currently resides in the White House where he passes his waking time ruining the economy, shredding the Bill of Rights, and cozying up to a dictator in Pakistan who is for God knows what reason not listed as a terrorist for setting up a nuclear Wal-Mart.
But I digress. Thomason has cleverly edited, mise-en-scene-like, into the talking-head segments footage from old films and newsreels that often hysterically complements what's being said. This is, so far as I know, unique to documentary filmmaking and WORKS here quite nicely.
Unless you were unborn, undead, or living in Mousehole, Texas, during the 1990's, you were glued to the TV, wondering how the HELL a freak like Paula Jones could possibly be taken seriously; how Ken Starr could deny without laughing that the OIC (i.e.
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