Ruddy, Christopher

views updated

RUDDY, Christopher

PERSONAL: Male. Education: St. John's University (New York, NY), B.A. (summa cum laude); London School of Economics, M.A.

ADDRESSES: Offıce—, P.O. Box 20989, West Palm Beach, FL, 33416.

CAREER: Investigative reporter. New York Guardian, New York, NY, editor, c. 1992; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh, PA, correspondent; NewsMax Media, West Palm Beach, FL, editor, CEO, and president, 1998—. Stanford University's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace media fellow; has appeared on television programs, including CNN Sunday Morning, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and 60 Minutes.

AWARDS, HONORS: Named among America's top twenty new media personalities, Newsweek, 1999.


The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation, Free Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Bitter Legacy: NewsMax Reveals the UntoldStories of the Clinton-Gore Years, NewsMax Media (West Palm Beach, FL), 2001.

(Editor, with Carl Limbacher, Jr.) Catastrophe:Clinton's Role in America's Worst Disaster, News-Max Media (West Palm Beach, FL), 2002.

Contributor to periodicals, including Washington Post and New York Post.

SIDELIGHTS: Journalist Christopher Ruddy became well known as an investigative reporter during the controversial administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton. Ruddy reported for the Washington Post until 1994, when he was hired by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and is best known for his coverage of the death investigation of White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster during the Clinton years.

Throughout his career, Ruddy's articles have sometimes made news themselves. In 1992 he reported that a Public Broadcasting System television documentary had fabricated key facts, causing the network to withdraw its support for the documentary. He also wrote a series of articles on the abuses of the Social Security Administration's disability programs, which resulted in congressional reforms. While many of Ruddy's articles rankled government officials during the Clinton Administration, his reporting on Foster's death investigation created the most controversy.

Ruddy published a series of articles in the Tribune-Review about Foster's 1993 death and his association with Bill and Hillary Clinton. This research became the basis for Ruddy's book The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation, which was published in 1997. Foster's body was discovered in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia, an area just outside of Washington, D.C. While the U.S. Park Police, Senate Banking Committee, and special prosecutors Robert Fiskes and Kenneth Starr all ruled Foster's death a suicide, Ruddy contends in his book that more investigation into unanswered questions is needed before such a definitive ruling can be made.

In The Strange Death of Vincent Foster, Ruddy claims that Foster's wounds contradict the supposed manner of death; it is believed that Foster shot himself in the mouth, yet there was no damage to his gums or teeth. Ruddy also notes that if Foster were killed by such an injury, his body would have fallen limp to the ground, yet Foster's body was "perfectly straight" and "coffin-like." Ruddy cites other questionable evidence as well, such as allegedly altered FBI reports concerning witness accounts of a suspicious-looking man who was observed near Foster's car.

"Ruddy's thoughtful book is no right-wing screed," remarked Vincent Murdock in his review of The Strange Death of Vincent Foster for Insight on the News. While "once or twice, he strays into side issues," for the most part "Ruddy harnesses 494 footnotes' worth of testimony, documents, and original reporting to explain how the suicide ruling resembles a watch built from Timex and Rolex parts: The pieces just don't fit together." Murdock added that "Clintonites will howl that this book offers no smoking gun: neither proof-positive that Foster committed suicide nor the names and addresses of whomever might have taken Foster's life. A genuine investigation might yield such answers."

In 2002 Ruddy coedited the book-length work Catastrophe: Clinton's Role in America's Worst Disaster, which was published by, a Web news company Ruddy founded in 1998. In Catastrophe Ruddy and coeditor Carl Limbacher, Jr. present information arguing that the Clinton administration left the United States vulnerable to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The editors claim that Clinton had a chance to arrest Osama bin Laden, but did not because Clinton believed the terrorist posed little threat to the United States. Ruddy and Limbacher also claim that Clinton helped Saddam Hussein by allowing him to illegally sell oil and that the West Nile virus was actually the first biological weapon used by Iraq.

As one might expect, government officials within the Clinton Administration held little regard for Ruddy. When Clinton advisor James Carville was asked to name five journalists the White House hated the most, Ruddy was at the top of the list.



Columbia Journalism Review, March-April, 1996, Trudy Lieberman, "The Vince Foster Factory and 'Courage in Journalism,'" pp. 8-9.

Insight on the News, October 27, 1997, Vincent Murdock, review of The Strange Death of Vincent Foster, p. 29.

Western Journalism Center, March 31, 1998, "James Carville: Ruddy Is Number-One 'Antagonist' of Clinton White House."

ONLINE, (November 15, 2003), "Christopher Ruddy."*