Media Elite: The Wind Beneath Bill's Wings
by L. Brent Bozell III
It seems like it was a lifetime ago when the Beautiful
People of Hollywood descended on Washington to celebrate Bill Clinton's first
inaugural. They were there by the dozens, musicians and actors alike, dancing
and singing that they couldn't stop thinkin' about tomorrow. And then, by and
large, they disappeared. Seemingly no cause, no issue surrounding their man
could excite them enough to publicly proclaim their allegiance to him.
Until Clinton got caught with his pants down.
At the February 5 White House dinner for British prime
minister Tony Blair, glamour couple Barbra Streisand and James Brolin each
spoke to the Washington Post in support of their boy Bill. "I wish the
people who do these illegal leaks and the media who exploit them would show
similar respect for the right to privacy and the presumption of
innocence," Streisand remarked. "After that, it's no one's business
what anyone does behind closed doors." Note that she virtually concedes
that a sexual dalliance with Miss Monica did take place. Note also that
Streisand finds it irrelevant that if true, Clinton lied through his teeth to
the American people - including her - about it.
So what? And so what that charges of perjury are swirling
everywhere? Brolin thinks it's more important that Clinton is "the
most fun president we've ever had - I think we can all agree about that...
The fact is, the job is getting done and he's enjoying himself."
For pro-Bill gushing, East Coast division, Tina Brown,
editor of the New Yorker, laps the field. Brown also attended the Blair dinner
and reported on it in the February 16 issue of her magazine. Herewith some
gooey excerpts: "Close your eyes and enter this parallel universe, where
the squalor and rancor of the trivia cops are temporarily shut out. Now see
your President, tall and absurdly debonair, as he dances with a radiant
blonde, his wife."
Unfortunately, Ms. Brown isn't finished: "His glamour
is undersung. For those of us who had dismissed him as a garrulous,
blow-dried, lip-biting occupant of the oval orifice [sic], this comes as a
slight shock. Forget for a minute all the Beltway halitosis breathed upon his
image. Forget the dog-in-the-manger, neo-puritanism of the op-ed tumbrel
drivers, and see him instead as his guests do: a man in a dinner jacket with
more heat than any star in the room (or, for that matter, at the multiplex)...
His newly cropped, iron-filing hair and the intensity of his blue eyes project
a kind of avid inclusiveness that encircles every jaded celebrity he passes.
He is vividly in the present tense and dares you to join him there."
Whew. Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, in a brief piece in
the March 5 edition of his magazine, boosted the president by bashing the
media. "The press coverage [of Fellategate] has brought journalism to a
new low," charged Wenner. "Never has so much been reported with so
few confirmed facts. Sources go unexamined for bias or motive; allegations
substitute for truth... Falling ratings, along with the Internet and cable
competition, have pushed the mainstream media's news cycle into hyperdrive,
churning rumor and fact without distinguishing between the two."
The likes of Mr. Wenner know better, really they do. 1) The
primary reason the relevant facts are unconfirmed is that the White House is
stonewalling, in and of itself yet another Clinton lie. 2) If by
"sources... unexamined for bias or motive" he means the likes of
Linda Tripp and Lucianne Goldberg, Wenner should find a new line of work. 3)
False allegations might "substitute" for truth; accurate ones don't.
Given what we do know, it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that not only
are the allegations true (and, therefore, that Clinton is lying) but there is
also more to the story yet to be uncovered. And 4) Clinton receives tabloid
coverage because he leads a tabloid life. It's that simple.
Mercifully for the rest of us, there was one celebrity who
actually made sense: "What I think most of the public is sick of in
general in politics, and from [Clinton] in particular, is invoking the
doctrine of relative filth, which is, 'I'm not so bad, as long as I can find
somebody else who's doing the same thing, or worse'... He's a very
talented man who cares deeply about what he believes in, but I do think that
he has an obligation... to do more than just lawyer the truth." Thank
you, Tom Selleck.
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