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Drudge Strikes Back, Sort Of

Web gossip columnist says Clinton and Gore are stepping on the Constitution


LOS ANGELES (AllPolitics, Sep. 3) -- Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge says the Clinton Administration's support for presidential aide Sidney Blumenthal's libel lawsuit against Drudge "should arouse grave concern among all those who cherish our Constitution."

Blumenthal, a former journalist who recently joined the Clinton Administration as a communications specialist, and his wife sued Drudge for $30 million after the conservative muckraker published allegations Aug. 10 that Blumenthal "has a spousal abuse past that has been effectively covered up." Both Blumenthals vehemently denied the charges, and Drudge quickly retracted the story and publicly apologized.

Late last month, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters Blumenthal had received verbal support from both the president and vice president to proceed with his lawsuit.

"The extraordinary admission at the August 28 White House press briefing that both the President and Vice President told Mr. Blumenthal they would support him in this action suggests this White House simply lacks respect for basic principles of free speech and the First Amendment guarantee of a free press," Drudge complains on his Web site.

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