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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This just in: Nothing boosts circulation or enhances ratings like a sex scandal. The more prominent the actors and the more prurient the allegations, the better. And if any factual adjustments become necessary to keeping the narrative going, many journalists are eager to play along.

For example, how did the current spat between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over her husband’s well-known sins begin? Was it when Hillary, unwisely rising to the bait, criticized Trump’s “penchant for sexism”? Or was it earlier, when Trump described her taking bathroom break during a TV debate as “disgusting”?

Most would say Trump’s bizarre insult jump-started things. However, if you watch Morning Joe or read accounts of Hillary’s supposedly “enabling” Bill Clinton’s transgressions, you’d learn that it’s pretty much all her fault. Always was.

Even the New York Times, in an editorial arguing that “Trump is way out of line bringing up Mr. Clinton’s philandering,” couldn’t restrain itself from scolding her for allegedly attacking Bill’s paramours.

“When Mr. Clinton ran for president in 1992,” editors chided, “Mrs. Clinton appeared on television beside him to assert that allegations involving Gennifer Flowers were false. In 1998, he admitted to that affair under oath.”

Actually, no he did not. In the famous 60 Minutes interview, Bill Clinton had acknowledged “causing pain in my marriage.” He added that most adults would understand what that meant.

Testifying in 1998, he admitted a single backseat tryst with Flowers, very far from the 12-year relationship she’d claimed. In her own deposition, she testified to earning more than $500,000 posing as Bill Clinton’s mistress. Besides claiming college degrees she’d never earned, beauty titles she’d never won, and even a twin sister who never existed, Flowers also managed to write an entire book without stipulating a single time and place where she and her famous paramour were ever together.

Fans of MSNBC’s Hardball have evidently forgotten the August 1999 episode in which Flowers was permitted to accuse Bill Clinton of having political opponents murdered, while host Chris Matthews told her how hot she was.

Bob Somerby found the transcript: “You’re a very beautiful woman,” Matthews panted. “He knows that, you know that, and everybody watching knows that. Hillary Clinton knows that!”

See, where Lewinsky was a starstruck amateur, Flowers was a seasoned professional.

Echoing Trump, who’s been going around describing Hillary as an “enabler,” who “totally destroyed” women that accused Bill Clinton, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd depicted her as a hypocrite for “running as a feminist icon” after smearing women who truthfully maligned him.

And who would those be?

Dowd provides exactly one example, the unfortunate Monica — the most reluctant “accuser” imaginable. And did Hillary not describe her husband’s paramour as a “narcissistic loony toon”? Apparently so, but in a private communication with her close friend Diane Blair, a University of Arkansas professor whose papers became available after her untimely death.

It’s the press that turned it into a smear.

If that’s the worst thing a middle-aged wife ever said about a young thing who threw herself at her husband, she should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

So am I so naïve that I believe Bill Clinton innocent of all charges? Certainly not. However, my suspicion is that like most public men with what the old Johnny Cash song called a “wicked wandering eye,” he waited for the woman to make the first move, and rarely had to wait very long.

Indeed, I long ago learned that the way some women act around famous, powerful men — athletes, actors, musicians, politicians — contradicts almost everything your mama (and every feminist since time began) says women behave. I have even witnessed women at writers’ conferences trying to trip novelists (and even the odd journalist) and beat them to the floor.

I’ve also noticed that some can get vengeful when they don’t get what they want. Or even if they do. That’s why Hillary Clinton in particular ought to avoid academic-accented cant about women never lying about sexual assault.

All human beings lie, and sex is one of the most common things they lie about. Again, sorry, but there it is.

Meanwhile, some reporters appear keen to return to those thrilling days of 1998 the way others yearn to experience Woodstock. I recently read a screed by a Vox reporter who was eight years old when this all went down: Linda Tripp, Kathleen Willey, Michael Isikoff, the “Elves,” Kenneth Starr, the lot.

He made a brave show of arguing that it would be “misleading and pernicious” to doubt the ever-changing tale of Juanita Broaddrick, an Arkansas nursing home owner (and Trump supporter) who claims that Bill Clinton raped her 40 years ago, but has also given sworn statements denying it.

He appears unaware that a veritable army of jackleg private eyes and right-wing political operatives (many employed by Kenneth Starr) ransacked Arkansas for years without proving a thing.

Please, not again.

Photo: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addresses a campaign rally for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in Nashua, New Hampshire January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder 

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66 responses to “Don’t Try To Breathe Life Into A Dead Scandal”

  1. docb says:

    It was the republicans and the media..who put the hard sell on the clinton infideliies….Not saying he was and is not a hound dog but it is their marriage, after all!

    • Carolyn1520 says:

      It certainly didn’t affect the state f the union. He left a surplus and the moron who followed blew through it and left a mess for the next Dem president to clean up.
      All the while his accusers were mired in their own hound dog behaviors. 😀

  2. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    The only reason the GOP does this is for the same reason they bashed the husband of Geraldine Ferrara at the same time that Gingrich’s zipper was on steroids. At the same time that Virginia Republican with the Venezuelan illegitmate child and mistress was hot footing it between his own marital bed and his mistress’s.

    You cannot expect honesty from GOP men. If you want the perfect icon of GOP dishonesty, check out Chris Christie’s state of the state address packed with more lies and deliberate distortions and the most significant omissions this big mouth Twerpie Generation moron has ever concocted.

  3. Carolyn1520 says:

    Yawn. Bill isn’t running, last I heard. But if he was was, he’d still beat any of the losers the right has put out there.

  4. Buck Ofama says:

    Oh, but the hypocrisy of the Clintoons and other Democrats is timeless.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Hypocrisy? You mean like lying about al Qaeda warnings to the 9/11 Commission? No..you must mean lying about your military record of less than 6 months and then standing on an aircraft carrier in a bomber jacket announcing “Mission Accomplished” when it was anything but?

      The problem with men like you is that your verbiage grows all too boring and tiresome and then we all just slot you into the “useless” file for life.

    • Daniel Jones says:

      Body Odor..

      Give it a rest.

      • Buck Ofama says:

        Danny boy.

        FUB.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          You don’t agree with anyone do you? And you think you don’t need professional mental help? Don’t they offer psychiatriasts in prison?

          • Buck Ofama says:

            You’re really stupid, aren’t you?

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Actually, I am so much more intelligent than you that anyone with my level of intelligent looks stupid to a moron with no life other than trolling a website all day long. You are a lazy man aren’t you? You have nothing better to do with your life than scour around for prey to attack and you call that “intelligent?”

            I’ve got your “number” and you hate it. Try out Mr. Superior Act with your cell mate Troll Boy.

          • Buck Ofama says:

            The only place you’re “intelligent” is in that same dream world you inhabit where your messiah is a “good” “president.”

  5. Otto Greif says:

    Shill.

  6. Elliot J. Stamler says:

    1 – Nobody cares what Maureen Dowd writes any more than they care about what Peggy Noonan writes…those two are admired only by the small groups of man-hating sycophants or ideologues who already agree with them.
    2 – Many of us have realized that once Chris Matthews started getting major media attention and making the big bucks his intellectual acuity took a nose-dive. When I heard him years ago bemoaning the unjust fate of his MSNBC buddy, Pat Buchanan…the # l Nazi-&-Hitler apologist in the US of note and an unrepentant white supremacist and anti-semite, I realized that he should no longer be taken seriously.
    3 – This Gene Lyons column is spot on in every sense.
    4 – Hillary Clinton on this and similar stuff should take an aggressive, upfront, take-no-prisoners stance and declare loudly:
    YOU ARE RUNNING AGAINST ME..NOT MY HUSBAND. MY HUSBAND MADE MISTAKES TWENTY YEARS AND MORE AGO. HE HAS PROFUSELY APOLOGIZED TO THE NATION AND ME A LONG TIME AGO. THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW. I AM THE CANDIDATE..DEAL WITH IT. AND I WON’T ACCEPT ABUSE FROM BILLIONAIRE A MULTI-MARRIED EGOMANIAC WHO HAS DEFAMED, SNEERED AT, AND EXPRESSED CONTEMPT FOR EVERY WOMAN IN THIS COUNTRY WHO IS NOT A BEAUTY PAGEANT CONTESTANT…WHICH IS WHY HE BOUGHT A BEAUTY PAGEANT. ASK MRS. FLORINA.

  7. Darsan54 says:

    Women who claim rape should be listened to and not summarily dismissed out of hand as was the practice in the past. This doesn’t mean they should automatically be believed nor is it against feminist principles to verify their stories. It is a time-honored conservative habit to believe if one says it (whatever “it” is at the moment), then it must be true. It is justice being served when evidence is presented and investigated.

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