Conservative hit man turned avid Hillary Clinton supporter David Brock told Yahoo News on Monday that the former first lady and her top campaign aides have not asked him to rein in his scorched-earth attacks on the New York Times and senior editor Carolyn Ryan, who leads the paper’s politics coverage.
The Times deserves “a special place in journalism hell” for its coverage of Clinton, Brock said in a new book, “Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government.” He also assailed Ryan’s integrity, professionalism and impartiality.
Asked whether Clinton or her top aides signed off on his onslaught, Brock told Yahoo News: “Not at all. I wrote this book myself without any help or advice from people in the campaign.”
And Brock flatly denied that Clinton or her senior advisers had urged him to scale back the attacks on the Times or Ryan personally. “Nothing like that, no,” he said.
Brock rose to national prominence as a writer for the American Spectator in the early 1990s. He repeatedly wrote pieces he now repudiates as barely one step above fabrication. He also worked to discredit Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment against future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Brock infamously labeled her “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” Midway through the decade, however, Brock had a surprising change of heart. His descriptions of how the right wing organized against the Clintons are thought to have led Hillary to denounce a “vast right-wing conspiracy” for many of Bill Clinton’s troubles in the media. Brock now runs independent organizations devoted to hitting back at media coverage that he sees as unfair to the Clintons.
Brock told Yahoo News he’s not suggesting that the federal agencies looking into the controversy over Hillary’s exclusive use of private email during her time as secretary of state are somehow part of that vast right-wing conspiracy.
“There’s no harm in the professional investigators” doing their jobs, he said. “As far as the process playing out, this is a normal bureaucratic process.”
But he charged that “this issue was successfully scandalized by Republicans” who see Hillary as the biggest threat to their hopes of recapturing the White House in 2016.
Brock acknowledged that the media had not been unfair to Clinton during her time as secretary of state or her service as senator from New York.
“When she steps into the presidential arena, that’s when you have an issue,” he said.