About This Month

Article excerpt

To the New York Times, the Lewinsky interview offered literary richness. "Here is the language of real sexual adventure, the language perhaps of the 18th-century novel-of Tom Jones and... Les Liaisons Dangereuses." Actually, it reminded me of one of my father's favorite jokes. A not-so-sophisticated woman sends a telegram to her significant other: "DEAREST COME. WE'LL [BLEEP]." He replies: "UNDERSTOOD THE ALLUSION. ARRIVING io O'CLOCK TRAIN." Talk about sensual. One of Lewinsky's main concerns was that "the world looked at me as a whore." How unfair. No payment was involved, at least not until recently, and none of it has come from the Clinton Defense Fund. One major benefactor turned out to be Britain's commercial Channel 4, and it got what the defense fund would have paid for: charges from Ms. Monica that the right-wing conspiracy had tried to use her too. And though Channel 4 (like ABC, not only Walters's "zo" but the "Nightline" follow-up) never thought to mention Juanita Broaddrick-can't give a leg-up to the competition, you know-the taboo subject did come up in another way. According to host Jon Snow, Lewinsky was "a young woman who was raped by the U.S. Constitution." Fortunately for her former soulmate, we know from Lewinsky he never tried anything like that with her.

On second thought, if it was the Constitution, wouldn't that make it legal? Before long we can expect a genius Clinton lawyer to extend the argument to the Arkansas state constitution, which, as personified by the state attorney general, could also never be legally charged with rape. Or maybe the argument will be made by a feminist fatale, someone like Susan Brownmiller, author of the famous men-are-essentially-rapists tract,Against Our Will. Much as she finds Broaddrick's accusations credible, she told Salon magazine, "I think Bill Clinton at that time was probably unaware that he was being anything more than assertive." Ouch. Sooner or later, it seems, it's incumbent on every living American to come up with some excuse or other for Clinton. Not that doing so is getting any easier. According to an early March "sampling of administration of ficials" by the Washington Post, their man has no credibility. …