Still Jabbing at Giuliani

The Times is still jabbing at Giuliani. From the front page of the Times to Drudge comes Wednesday's "Ex-Publisher's Suit Plays a Giuliani-Kerik Angle," the story of fallen book publisher Judith Regan, whose imprint, ReganBooks, was under the wing of HarperCollins (owned by the News Corporation, creators of liberal bugbear Fox News).

Regan, who had an affair with beleaguered former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik, was fired last December for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks during a phone call. Reporter Russ Buettner explained:

"Judith Regan, the former book publisher, says in a lawsuit filed yesterday protesting her dismissal by the News Corporation, the media conglomerate, that a senior executive there encouraged her to lie to federal investigators about her past affair with Bernard B. Kerik after he had been nominated to become homeland security secretary in late 2004.

"The lawsuit asserts that the News Corporation executive wanted to protect the presidential aspirations of Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Kerik's mentor, who had appointed him New York City police commissioner and had recommended him for the federal post.

"Ms. Regan makes the charge at the start of a 70-page filing that seeks $100 million in damages for what she says was a campaign to smear and discredit her by her bosses at HarperCollins and its parent company, News Corporation, after her project to publish a book with O. J. Simpson was abandoned amid a storm of protest."

Buettner was made mildly infamous in August for a story about Giuliani's purportedly suspect friendship with Fox News boss Roger Ailes, a front-page heavy-breather that was ridiculed even by liberal journalists as "paranoia." In his Wednesday article, Buettner worked in another reference to the Giuliani-Ailes axis:

"The Fox News Channel's coverage of the presidential race has been a topic of some discussion within rival campaigns because the channel is directed by Mr. Giuliani's friend of 20 years, Roger Ailes. But the network has strongly defended the balance of its coverage under Mr. Ailes, who served as media consultant to Mr. Giuliani's first mayoral campaign in 1989. Mr. Giuliani, as mayor, later officiated at Mr. Ailes's wedding."

Buettner also quoted Regan's complaint (one of many in her 70-page filing) that "This smear campaign was necessary to advance News Corp.'s political agenda, which has long centered on protecting Rudy Giuliani's presidential ambitions."