Several years ago, while perusing material for my favorite department of The American Spectator, the Current Wisdom, I came across an obvious lie perpetrated by Terry McAuliffe, this season's Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia. It was a pretty bold lie, too, and he was quite proud of it as you will see.
The Current Wisdom is a department of The American Spectator that includes quotations that are obviously foolish but rarely out-and-out lies. This time the quote in question was an out-and-out lie. It was also quite foolish, but more to the point it was a lie, and it was perpetrated by the future governor of the great state of Virginia who now hopes to serve yet again. His opponent is Glenn Youngkin, and he better be on his toes with this Democratic opponent, who seems to be getting desperate in his race with Youngkin.
On page 58 of his 2007 memoir, "What A Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals," McAuliffe wrote that in past issues, The American Spectator published articles "alleging" that Bill Clinton "ordered the murder of political opponents." I very politely asked him during a chance encounter in the green room of MSNBC where I might find the errant quote or quotes. Which issue was it in? I then followed up with a letter to Terry. (And I think I might call him Terry. After all, he ended our correspondence calling me Bob.) Remember, I edit The American Spectator, and if any of our aggressive young editors are pulling a fast one on me, I would want to know. Moreover, murder is a crime, even in Arkansas.
By the way, there was another lie in my long-going correspondence with Terry. On July 11, 2007, he accused us at The American Spectator of taking "under-the-table money from an ultraconservative named Richard Mellon Scaife and used it to send reporters out to do just enough digging to give the veneer of truth to wild, unfounded charges." What nonsense! Seth Lipsky, the founder and editor of the New York Sun, has called The American Spectator probably the most thoroughly investigated magazine in the country (thanks to Terry's friends, the Clintons), and we were never investigated for taking money "under the table," or for that matter, murder. He then prattled on about his "homeland of Ireland." Actually, he was born in Syracuse, and he assumed the posture of a schoolmarm in lecturing me on the stylistic elements of a paragraph. In as much as I doubt he even wrote his memoirs, I would not go into such issues of grammar with me.
For that matter, concerning the outcome of our investigation with the federal government and Bill's outcome with his investigation with the federal government, I would caution Terry to follow another course. At the Spectator, we at least ended the investigation hearing the word "exoneration" directed at us. That was a word that the Clintons have never heard directed at them, and Bill ended up paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines. He had his law license suspended for five years, and he was impeached before the Senate let him off the hook.
But back to Terry. Why would a public figure lie about a matter so easily verified? The American Spectator is a magazine easily accessed in many public libraries, starting with the Library of Congress. Anyone seeking to verify what we have said about Bill or Hillary merely has to go to a local library and look up our back issues. In fact, we provide a yearly index at the back of every bound issue. Moreover, if we suggested a public figure of Bill Clinton's stature was ordering murders, I am sure there would be hell to pay. I would think the Secret Service would have paid me a visit long ago. As I said before, Terry McAuliffe has obviously lied, but why would he tell such a whopper?
I think it is because Democrats such as Terry lie all the time. They trade in a regular discourse of lies, and their supporters are used to it. They probably believe his lies. So, Glenn Youngkin had best get used to Terry's lying. I would suggest that every time Terry tells a lie, Youngkin responds with, "There you go again." That line has a familiar ring to it, no?
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.