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What could they possibly be trying to distract from?


So that right there was the lead story on the Drudge Report Monday morning -- a link to a nearly year-old video tweet by Danney Williams, who claims he's absolutely definitely sure he's Bill Clinton's unacknowledged son. Just below the screaming headline is another link, to Olivia Nuzzi's story about Williams at the Daily Beast -- and if you don't happen to click it, you might think the headline supports the BREAKING NEWS that Williams really is Bill Clinton's secret bastard child, born after multiple encounters with a prostitute in 1984! Except Nuzzi's story is from May 20 of this year, and makes it plain from the start that there's not a shred of evidence beyond screaming stories in supermarket tabloids and the rightwing conspirasphere. One bit Nuzzi doesn't mention, either: Drudge himself admitted in 1999 the story was bogus.

Nuzzi's story offers a full timeline of the entire sorry rumor, one which Danney Williams, now 31, has happily tried to make a living from -- his Twitter profile claims "I'm the son of the 42nd President of the United States- Bill Clinton," but he hasn't updated his account since August. Nuzzi said she approached the whole story as an experiment:

I wondered what would happen if I tried to report it out. Is the problem, as Clinton critics allege, that reporters don’t pay attention to stories like that of Danney Williams? Or is the problem people like Danney Williams?

And wouldn't you know it, the guy who's done the most to circulate the story in recent years is Clinton conspiracy fantasist Robert Morrow, the Austin-based loony (and ousted Travis County GOP chair) who also insists that Chelsea Clinton's real daddy was Webb Hubbell and also Hillary Clinton is a lezzie slut, of course.

Here's the basic mythology, as laid out in The Clintons’ War on Women, the book-shaped object Morrow co-wrote with Trump operative and former Nixon ratfucker Roger Stone: Clinton supposedly met prostitute Bobbie Ann Williams while jogging one fine day, then shortly afterwards paid her $200 to have sex right out in the open, behind some bushes at the housing project where she lived. Then Clinton started doing sex with Williams -- and sometimes multiple other prostitutes! -- on the regular for several months, even meeting her for sex-doing at his mother's house. Plausible so far!

When Williams became pregnant and was delivered of a son on December 7, 1985 -- Pearl Harbor Day, which maybe proves Bill Clinton is an attack on America! -- she knew the lad was Clinton's, because of course the baby was very pale and Bill was the only white client she'd had in all those months. Again, it's only logical. Bobbie went to prison not long after Danney was born, and he was raised by her sister, Lucille Bolton, who also became the chief custodian of the myth -- you know, she fought the Clinton Machine and tried to get Bill to acknowledge his son, and all she wants is for people to know the truth. Somehow, none of these folks ended up getting murdered by the Clintons, unlike other random people with far less direct supposed connections to the family's many crimes and scandals.

Nuzzi does a terrific and hilarious job of doing Real Journalism to the whole sordid rumor; it was initially spread by a guy named Robert "Say" McIntosh, a rightwing "activist and sweet potato pie barron in Little Rock," who printed up a flier -- remember those? -- with the juicy title "The Hottest Thing Going: Bill Clinton’s Dick Will Keep Him From Running for President of the United States of America." From there, it was picked up by the Globe tabloid in 1992, then popped up again in 1998 in reputable rightwing journalism outlet Newsmax, then in 1999 in the Star tabloid and -- most crucially for spreading it all over the wingnuttosphere -- the Drudge Report's breathless links to the Star.

This is where we'll jump over to the January 12, 1999, LA Times story that really should have ended this whole idiotic rumor, except of course in the ConspiraSphere, nothing is ever really disproven:

Last weekend, Drudge was forced to admit the lurid tale was totally wrong. In the time-honored tradition of rumormongers exploiting their own errors, Drudge told his readers, "A stunning DNA showdown came to a dramatic conclusion this weekend when it was learned that Star magazine was in possession of lab results -- results that ruled out Bill Clinton as the father." Drudge previously claimed to be deeply moved by a preview of "a shocking new videotaped confession" by the boy's mother, produced by Paramount TV's "Hard Copy." However, last weekend, he reported that the story he had done so much to hype was "a cruel hoax by the boy's mother -- debunked and flunked by science."

Funny, though -- 17 year later, Drudge dredges the story up again, without any mention, of course, of the DNA test or his own admission the story was bullshit.

Not that the anti-Clinton crowd thinks anything was really debunked in 1999, of course, or even acknowledges Drudge was among those who admitted it was nonsense. After all, this is now a story being spread by Roger Stone and Robert Morrow, and Robert Morrow is genetically compelled to believe every Clinton conspiracy story ever. While chasing down the various threads of the story for her piece earlier this year, Nuzzi interviewed Morrow:

“They made it up!” he said of Star magazine’s DNA test. “It’s Clinton-disinfo. It’s a planted story -- a fake planted story. There was no DNA test. Prove it! Where? Danney don’t know about it. Star magazine didn’t know about. Stone talks to the current people who own those magazines [and] they say, ‘what are you talking about?’”

So if a genuine Clinton Expert like Robert Morrow says there was no DNA test, there was definitely no DNA test, and Matt Drudge's admission he was wrong in 1999 is therefore overruled. Go read Nuzzi's story for a fascinating look at how bullshit lives eternally in the wingnuttospere. Amazing thing: she was never able to arrange an interview with Danney Williams himself, who said Nuzzi would have to talk to his lawyer/media person first, except there was a small problem -- the lawyer mysteriously never returned any of her many calls. Nor did his mom or her sister, the woman who raised him and really really really wanted the truth about Bill Clinton's love child to be made clear. The Arkansas Department of Health, of course, wouldn't release a copy of Williams's birth certificate without his written consent, and wouldn't you know it, Danney Williams, who also really really really wants to be acknowledged as Bill Clinton's secret son, never replied to her request for written permission to get that darn old birth certificate either.

And that’s as far as I got. Danney Williams, as he says, is real. Everything past that remains in the rabbithole—the provenance of the supermarket tabloids and professional rumor peddlers.

Imagine that! And now Drudge is pushing the story a bit more than a month before the election, with Donald Trump down in the polls, having lost a debate to a girl, and the mainstream media focused on what a misogynist asshole and huge (if legal!) tax swindler Trump is. Keep watching, America -- we bet it's only a matter of time before Drudge reveals that Bill Clinton is also the secret father of John McCain's black daughter.

[LAT / Daily Beast]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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