[T]he press felt there had to be some drug story about the first boomer candidate, and in the last weeks of the campaign a convicted felon bent on exploiting the system cooked up just the story some of them wanted. Brett Kimberlin was a perjurer doing a fifty-one year federal prison sentence for terrorizing the town of Speedway, Indiana, by planting eight bombs in seven days. The explosions maimed several people, including a Vietnam veteran, the father of two young children, who lost his leg. Suddenly, just before the election, he was claiming to have regularly sold me marijuana. He said he wanted to show how "hypocritical" my anti-drug positions were.
There was not a shred of truth to his bizarre accusation, nor a single witness to back it up, and if anyone could have less credibility I have a hard time imagining who it would be. (CBS's "60 Minutes" would eventually spend two years looking into this story before deciding that there was nothing there.) But the media in the frantic final days of the campaign didn't care about facts and ran with the story anyway. On the Friday before the election Kimberlin scheduled a press conference. Before he could manage to hold it, the Federal Bureau of Prisons put him into administrative detention. He was in and out of solitary for the next ten days, partly for violating prison rules and partly, according to the bureau director, out of concern for his personal safety. There was a controversy, inevitably, over whether the Reagan administration or the Bush campaign pulled some strings to keep him quiet until the election was over. Whether they did overact and exert pressure, I don't know, but Kimberlin's story was so ridiculous that it should never have made its way into the mainstream media. Even assuming the worst, I'll let Larry Sabato have the last even-handed word about this incident. In "Feeding Frenzy" he says that "the responsible federal officials, if not the Bush/Quayle campaign itself, have only themselves to blame for elevating Kimberlin to martyr status. But there is also a pitiful quality to the way in which the press let itself be manipulated by an apparently publicity-hungry federal prisoner guilty of heinous crimes."
Like Kimberlin, Sinclair may simply be publicity hungry as media critic Larry Sabato described Kimberlin in his book, "Feeding Freny." Unlike Kimberlin, however, Sinclair has never been found guilty of heinous crimes and makes no apologies for his drug-using/trafficking, check forging and credit card fraud past. It is worth noting the striking difference in the willingness of the mainstream media to report on Kimberlin's sensational charges, while they, for the most part, have completely ignored Sinclair's allegations against Obama. There is clearly a double-standard at play here within the MSM as there is in every election in this country.
As to the arrest of Sinclair being celebrated by supporters of Obama, I have to ask if the Obama supporters are unwittingly elevating Sinclair to martyr status like Kimberlin was after he was isolated from reporters by federal prison officials? Two pro-Obama bloggers from Paris, France of all places, took credit for securing the arrest of Sinclair by making sure the appropriate authorities knew of his specific whereabouts on the day of his press conference. Citizen Wells blogger has already put up a post at Sinclair's blog depicting him as a "political prisoner." Sinclair is disabled due to chronic health problems and relies on a social security disability check for his livelihood. His family and friends worry for his safety and whether he is being allowed to take the medications prescribed to him by his doctors. Their concerns may be valid. After Jim McDougal was sentenced to three years in an Arkansas federal prison for his Whitewater-related crimes, federal prison officials placed McDougal in isolation because the old and ailing inmate was incontinent and unable to produce urine samples for drug testing on demand. McDougal, who was reportedly cooperating with Special Prosecutor Ken Starr in the investigation of President Clinton, fell very ill in isolation after prescription drugs for heart-related problems were withheld from him. He was pronounced dead after being rushed to a local hospital.
If you wish to view Sinclair's National Press Club conference in full, you can view it by clicking here.