Brox Crox Redux!

Brox Crox Redux!

Brox Crox Redux!

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
April 3 1998 3:29 PM

Brox Crox Redux!

Turns out David Brock's recent Esquire confessional didn't quite confess to everything. In Esquire, Brock writes that "a major contributor to Newt Gingrich's GOPAC" introduced him to the "gothic world of anti-Clintonism." Why would Brock, in his tell-all, decline to name this "major contributor?" Now we know. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that the "contributor," a Chicago investment banker named Peter Smith, did more than introduce Brock to the anti-Clinton world. He paid Brock $5,000 for "research expenses." ... What's wrong with a reporter taking money like that? Nothing, at least in Chatterbox's book. Brock apparently wasn't a full-time employee of the American Spectator at the time. So someone who wants a story written paid him to research the story. When the Ford Foundation does the same thing, they call it a prestigious fellowship! ... But if Brock thought it was OK to take the money, why did he seemingly hide that fact in Esquire? And why did it apparently take Smith showing the cancelled $5,000 check to Sweet to get Brock to fess up? In the New York Post, Brock is quoted as saying "I didn't immediately remember, but I never denied it. ... I said if [Smith] has the documentation, I'd be happy to confirm it." Do you believe Brock didn't remember getting $5,000 from a secretive anti-Clinton operative? Private citizens don't run around offering that kind of money to freelance journalists every day, at least that has (unfortunately) been Chatterbox's experience. It's especially implausible that Brock "didn't remember" the payment when he had just finished writing what was supposed to be a confessional article detailing his own journalistic missteps in the service of the Clinton-haters--an article that included criticism of "the GOPAC moneyman" (Smith) for offering to give "legal expense" checks to the anti-Clinton troopers. But if Brock is dissembling about his memory of the $5,000, what else is he dissembling about? .... Brock didn't return a phone call asking for comment. Here Chatterbox goes the extra mile to be fair, and look what happens! ...

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Follow-Up on the News!: As predicted in yesterday's Chatterbox, the relatively good news contained in the overall admissions figures for the entire 8-campus University of California system--which showed black and Hispanic admissions dropping by only 17 and 7 percent, respectively, in the wake of Prop. 209's rollback of race preferences--was either ignored or buried by the press. Neither the New York Times or Washington Post carried the story. The Los Angeles Times ran a below-the-fold piece on page A3, the headline and lead paragraphs of which discussed the non-news that UC plans, as it always does, to offer qualified students rejected by their chosen campuses spots somewhere in the UC system. Only in the fourth paragraph does education writer Kenneth Weiss note the "figures released Thursday showing that blacks and Latinos systemwide did not fare as badly as they had at the university's most competitive campuses." Contrast this with the front-page treatment given two days earlier in the LAT, New York Times and Washington Post to the bad news about the large drops in black and Latino admissions at those two most-competitive campuses, Berkeley and UCLA. Chatterbox's paranoid fears have been borne out! This will only encourage him. ...

Some readers wondered why Chatterbox made such a big deal about the delayed release of the UC systemwide figures, since the figures for each of the eight individual UC campuses were available earlier, and indeed were printed on the back page of the New York Times in a chart accompanying the April 1 story about the grim Berkeley and UCLA results. Couldn't any intelligent reader--or Chatterbox--have just added up the figures from the 8 campuses to get the systemwide total? The answer is no. If you did that, you'd double-count a student who was accepted, say, to both UCLA and San Diego. Only when the university itself recalculated the 8-campus figures to eliminate this duplication were accurate systemwide results available to the press. Too bad they didn't get reported. ...