Emmett Tyrrell

While Dick was appearing in Arkansas, I was appearing before an investigation in Washington. "The Arkansas Project" was described in Dick's obituaries as a project to "to find evidence of financial and personal misdeeds by the Clintons," according to the Washington Post, and "were aimed at discrediting the Clintons," according to the New York Times. Actually the articles were an attempt to improve investigative journalism at the magazine. They were initially labeled the project for "Expanded Editorial and Reporting." The project was much like projects run at PBS's "Frontline." The reason they came to center on the Clintons was that the Clintons' and their associates' corrupt practices came to be the most important news stories of the 1990s. Our stories have never been proven wrong. The Spectator was the most prominent source, but other stories appeared in the Times (for instance, Whitewater revelations and the Clintons' years of fraudulent bank loans) and the Post (revelations of campaign violations, especially donations from the Asia). As for our greatest coup, Troopergate, the Los Angeles Times came forward with a corroborating story about the troopers within days. Why are these great American dailies not included in the dark murmurings about the "The Arkansas Project"?

Decades ago Dick Scaife's vision of politics in America prefigured the entire conservative movement that was to come. He and his aides, Dan McMichael and Dick Larry, recognized that a political movement needed a communications network. So he founded or assisted in founding newspapers and magazines. It needed think tanks to augment the principles of the movement with ideas and policies. It needed a professoriate so he funded chairs all over the country. Finally, it needed political leaders. Along with Lynde and Harry Bradley, Joe Coors, Bill Simon,and John M. Olin, the conservative movement was created. It has changed American history for the better.

I communicated with Dick almost to the end. He was a friend to me and to America. Our vow is to continue his work.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Emmett Tyrrell's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
©Creators Syndicate