Another Bill Clinton Redux. (Fair Comment)

By Anderson, Alan L. | Insight on the News, January 28, 2002 | Go to article overview

Another Bill Clinton Redux. (Fair Comment)


Anderson, Alan L., Insight on the News


It is all so predictable, if more than a little tiring. The man who for eight years demonstrated amply that (in his own mind, at least) everything is, was and always will be about him is back demanding attention. Richard Berke of the New York Times reports that on Dec. 19 Bill Clinton called a meeting of his top politicos for the purpose of burnishing his legacy. So once again the clarion call is sounded for the sycophants in the media and government to proclaim loudly their homage to the best and smartest president who ever deigned to serve the people of this nation.

Of course, no Clinton spin operation is ever what it seems. For example, according to Berke, his sources say "that while he [Clinton] expressed concern that he was being blamed for not catching Osama bin Laden, most of the discussion was about how to raise his profile and press his case on domestic matters."

Just so. Clinton isn't overly worried people may be blaming him for that gaping hole in Manhattan, he's worried people aren't giving him enough credit for the V-chip.

Strangely, though, one of the first columns from one of Clinton's most reliable media tacks, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, on this latest Clinton propaganda war doesn't sing the praises of the glorious V-chip or the Clinton administration's shrewd handling of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards or its boffo job on gays in the military. Rather, this first piece aims, basically, to lay the blame for Sept. 11 (at least partially, if not mostly) at the feet of the famed vast right-wing conspiracy (VWRC).

Speaking of Clinton's lackadaisical response to bin Laden bombing our embassies in East Africa in 1998, Cohen states, "[I]f blame is to be apportioned for what happened or didn't happen around that time, then the fiber partisans of Washington have to take some responsibility. It was they, with the connivance of the Supreme Court, who manufactured a sexual-harassment lawsuit out of Paula Jones' uncorroborated charge of boorish behavior and converted it into an assault on the presidency, itself."

Having told us all at the time about Clinton's extraordinary ability to "compartmentalize" -- to place in a "box" unpleasant things, such as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, so as to "get on with the work of the American people" -- the new line from the Clintonistas is that, "Well, no, actually Clinton was completely distracted from catching bin Laden by the VRWC."

It's all so classic Clinton. Leak to the press you've had a meeting, the thrust of which was to determine ways to remind the American people just what a great guy you are. Tell the press you're not really worried people are blaming you for Sept. …

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