Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ten Years Ago

That was the headline on the Drudge Report 10 years ago today: January 17, 1997.
And then the story:
The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that reporter Michael Isikoff developed the story of his career, only to have it spiked by top NEWSWEEK suits hours before publication. A young woman, 23, sexually involved with the love of her life, the President of the United States, since she was a 21-year-old intern at the White House. She was a frequent visitor to a small study just off the Oval Office where she claims to have indulged the president's sexual preference. Reports of the relationship spread in White House quarters and she was moved to a job at the Pentagon, where she worked until last month.
Now, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal recalls: The following day, Drudge named the intern as Monica Lewinsky, and a few days after that, the story was all over the mainstream media. It looked for a while as if President Clinton might not serve out his term. Even his dutiful wife commented on the "Today" show that if true, "that would be a very serious offense." But, insisted Hillary Clinton, it was not true.
Yet, it was true. All true. And the Clintons knew that it was true.
It's just that they weren't ready to tell us the truth. First, they had to create the spectre of a "vast right wing conspiracy" so as to have an enemy; an effective distraction. Then (even though perjury was involved) they had to concoct a way to explain it all - a catchphrase, an excuse, something dismissive, something easy to understand. So, it was decided that the whole thing was "just about sex."
And then just to make sure everything was good and muddled they piled on with a debate about the meaning of various words, including the word "is."
Still, William Jefferson Clinton disgraced himself and the Presidency and he became the only elected American President in our entire history to ever be impeached.
Impeachment. That is one fact of the Clinton Presidency that can never be erased, avoided or explained away.

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