John McCaslin

We have to laugh at Matt Labash's in-depth (11 pages) Weekly Standard cover story, "Roger Stone, Political Animal," who while a mere shell of the political animal he once was still gets blamed today "for things I have nothing to do with."

Once was the time Mr. Stone implanted his claws into every presidential campaign starting with Richard M. Nixon promising "to produce more than I promise." And, as Mr. Labash writes, he has "the battle scars to prove it."

More recently, he was blamed for leaking George W. Bush's forged Air National Guard records, and whereas most right-wing political operatives would delight in taking credit for the demise of Dan Rather, Mr. Stone labels such charges preposterous.

He made his bones during the Reagan era, hanging his political lobbyist shingle alongside old friends Charles Black, Paul Manafort and later Lee Atwater. But in 1996, when working as an unpaid adviser to Bob Dole, his career in mainstream politics ground to a lurid halt when photographs showed Mr. Stone and his second wife, Nydia, "striking come-hither poses in swinger's ads, putting out the call for bedroom playmates with exacting specifications: 'no smokers or fats please,' " Mr. Labash recalls.

"When I bring this up to Stone, he looks pained," says the Standard's senior writer, who spent a week interviewing Mr. Stone in New York and at his home in Miami, where the once-confident consultant can't quite relax these days.

"Though he appears to knock down each drink I order him, it turns out he has had only one," Mr. Labash reveals. "He greased the waiter in advance, telling him to only bring olives and water in his martini glass after the first one. He didn't want me to have the edge, in case I was there to whack him."

Cheering Hillary

As expected, L. Brent Bozell III pulls no punches in his forthcoming book, "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will."

A card-carrying member of the latter category, the founder and president of the Media Research Center describes how a "liberal news media" helped build the career of the Arkansas first lady turned senator from New York, and now are trying to propel her into the White House.

"The national media have flagrantly abandoned their duty as a supposedly independent, dispassionate press when it comes to coverage of Hillary Clinton," Mr. Bozell argues in an uncorrected proof of the book, due for release next month.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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