They Would Indict Clinton?
Top Juror's Starr Defense Ignored
A silent but important figure
in Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s Lewinsky investigation briefly
broke her silence last month. Grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander
revealed that she would have voted to indict President Clinton for
perjury, if given the chance, and characterized attacks on Ken Starr as
"grossly unfair." But the networks showed little interest in her
In an exclusive televised
interview with the Washington, D.C. CBS affiliate, WUSA, aired on March
25 and March 26, Alexander told reporter Mark Lodato that Starr "was
well within his right to investigate the President.... ‘His approval
rating is the lowest of anyone. I don’t think Linda Tripp’s rating is as
low as Ken Starr’s is and I think it’s grossly unfair because he didn’t
have a job description.’" The Washington Post ran a front page
story on Alexander and her comments on March 26. Reporter Susan Glasser
detailed how even though Alexander admitted she "absolutely love[s]
Clinton," she put her feelings aside and applied the law: "She was
convinced he lied to the grand jury in his August 17 appearance. ‘I took
offense to it.’...But Alexander...also reflected the ambivalence many
Americans felt about Clinton’s behavior. ‘I believe he lied,’ she said.
‘But I also believe he had no other choice."
Only ABC’s Good Morning
America and NBC’s Today included Alexander’s comments in
their March 26 broadcasts, albeit very briefly during their 7am news
updates. Both mentioned that she would have voted to indict Clinton and
that she thinks his activities should never have become public. Neither
mentioned her defense of Starr. That same evening, it was the networks’
turn to go silent, even on CBS, not bothering to show some of its own
affiliate’s interview footage.
The day after the Post
story ran, AP reported Alexander had her lawyers tell media outlets she
would no longer talk to reporters. Just as well, since the networks did
not show any interest anyway.
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