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Certified Bedfellows?
The rumors about Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris the media is suppressing
by Tamara Baker

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (AmpolNS) -- How quickly do you think it would take for a rumor about Bill Clinton having an affair with, say, Madeline Albright, his Secretary of State, to go from the right-wing rumor mills at Free Republic and/or Lucianne.com, to Matt Drudge's website, and from there to the legitimate media?

Judging from how Michael Isikoff used Drudge as a way to put the initial CoupGate stories in play back in January of 1998, I'd guess it would take maybe less than a day. If that.

Yet for well over a week, I have been hearing persistent reports, from sources as far-flung as KGO Radio and The New York Observer, that CNN and Newsweek and The New York Times all have the goods, at least in part, pertaining to an alleged sexual relationship between Florida Governor Jeb Bush and HIS Secretary of State, Katherine Harris -- yet very little has actually made it into print on this matter.

According to Ron Rosenbaum in the December 4, 2000 edition of The New York Observer, much of the East Coast media establishment, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, is buzzing like crazy over this story, a story which they are not allowed to cover, except in the most oblique and sanitized fashion.

Rosenbaum even points out two paragraphs, one from the NYT and one from the New York Post, as examples of how reporters in both papers are being forced to 'sanitize' their references to Harris' alleged sexual affair with Jeb Bush.

A story in today's New York Daily News seems to follow the pattern of oblique, sanitized references mentioned by Rosenbaum. While the article itself does not refer to the alleged affair, the accompanying photo -- which shows married woman Katherine Harris apparently being goosed by married man Jeb Bush -- has the following semi-suggestive caption: "Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris pal around before the start of a cabinet meeting in Tallahassee yesterday."

The speculation about the affair is not confined to the East Coast print and electronic media. Ray Taliaferro, at San Francisco radio station KGO, has been referring to the alleged affair and its coverup on his graveyard-shift radio show. And Bev Conover of Online Journal has also reported on the alleged affair and its coverup. At the end of an article dealing mostly with another story the mainstream media has largely embargoed -- namely, the compelling evidence of nationwide orchestrated Republican efforts to prevent black voters from voting, or to prevent their votes from being counted -- she includes this:

If the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of voters wasn't enough, another source alleges, "Newsweek is sitting on allegations that Jeb Bush and Kat Harris have had an adulterous affair" and that CNN has instructed its newswriters "not to report the affair."

The source claimed the following was issued "Tuesday in cnni.readme (a constantly updated file on CNN's computer network):"

>Guidance

>Newsweek has an item on an alleged personal relationship among
>two of the top players in Florida. Under NO circumstances should
>this be reported on CNN without the approval of senior management.

>We'd also recommend that we be prepared in case this gets brought
>up during a live interview or news conference.

If this allegation proves to be true and even the Bushes can't keep it buried forever, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why George W. and the Republicans are screaming for Gore to concede.  Surely even William Bennett would scream, "Where's the outrage?" if Jeb Bush, who promised to deliver Florida to his big brother, and Katherine Harris, who had the gall to tell the Florida Supreme Court it was wrong as she brazenly certified the election results to give George W. Florida's 25 electoral votes, were sleeping together.

"CNN and the rest of the media are digging hard -- but they're squelching it from the public until they can cover their tails," said our source.

I anticipate that my Republican readers are already typing furious e-mails to me, pointing out what they will call my hypocrisy in defending Bill Clinton's goings-on with Monica Lewinsky while denigrating Jeb Bush for playing around with his own Secretary of State. To those not-so-gentle readers I reply: since when was Monica Lewinsky in charge of certifying vote tallies for her Presidential boyfriend?


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