Magazine article The Christian Century

Scandalous Charges in a Falwell Video

Magazine article The Christian Century

Scandalous Charges in a Falwell Video

Article excerpt

Evangelist Jerry Falwell is selling a videotape that contains scathing attacks on President Clinton, charging, among other things, that the president is involved in numerous murders. The videotape also contains charges - undocumented, like the claims against the president - that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has committed sexual indiscretions.

The tape, which the Lynchburg, Virginia, evangelist is selling for $43, is drawing fire from People for the American Way, a watchdog group at loggerheads with Falwell on issues of religion and public policy. "As far as I can tell, there's not a shred of documentation to what he's saying," said Matthew Freeman, director of research for the Washington-based organization. Freeman described the charges leveled against the Clintons as "stuff that reads like fantasy."

Included in the footage are statements made by Paula Corbin Jones, who recently filed a lawsuit against Clinton, claiming that he made unwelcome sexual advances to her while he was governor of Arkansas and she a state employee. Falwell is not claiming that the charges presented on the video are true - only that they should be looked into by the media. "What Jerry Falwell is doing, first and foremost, is raising some issues which he believes the mainstream media itself should have been raising in the last several months," said Falwell spokesman Mark DeMoss.

Echoing a defense that Falwell himself made during a recent interview on CNN's Crossfire show, DeMoss emphasized that Falwell is not making the charges but is only publicizing charges made by others. "It is not for Jerry Falwell to say whether any of the charges are true or false, but they ought to be covered, and people can make decisions," Demoss said. "I think all that Falwell wants is people to take an honest look."

Falwell is currently in the midst of a $500,000 fund-raising appeal for Lynchburg's Liberty University, which he founded and where he. …

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