On January 6. 1997, The Wall Street Journal broke the story that the White House counsel's office had compiled a 331 page report which chronicled their analysis of how "fantasy becomes fact" as rumors are advanced through the "media food chain". According to the report, well funded right wing extremists introduce conspiracy theories and innuendo which are then picked up by ideological journals and ultimately ends up in mainstream newspapers.
When White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry, was questioned about the report at a White House press briefing, he stated that the report was compiled in an effort to protect reporters from "getting a bunch of bad stories In their papers" and "protect the American people from bad information". He also stated that the taxpayers' cost of compiling this report were minimal because they had relied on research by the Democratic National Committee. McCurry also denied that it was an enemies list even though (according to the Washington Times) "it shows that the administration conducted extensive surveillance of Mr. Clinton's critics."
Obviously, the White House never intended for the general press and public, or the targets in particular, to know about this list. The report, which strongly resembles a "hit list", was given to a few select journalists who were considered friends of the White House who were encouraged to expose these "conspiracy nuts".
As a result of being a target on the list, Linda Ives was contacted by Phillip Weiss who informed her that he had received a "packet of news clippings" from the White House and was writing a story for the New York Times Magazine about Clinton bashers. Linda was stunned that the White House had any interest her. Linda was reluctant to talk with him but agreed to an interview. Prior to their scheduled meeting, Linda called several people, including Micah Morrison with the WSJ, to ask if they knew Phillip and what his reputation as a journalist was. By all accounts, the opinions were that Phillip had an excellent reputation as a Journalist. Linda was comfortable with Phillip and felt like her story would be told fairly and accurately. (See Related Article, The Clinton Haters)