Magazine article Insight on the News

As Starr's Final Report Looms, Media Protect Darling Hillary

Magazine article Insight on the News

As Starr's Final Report Looms, Media Protect Darling Hillary

Article excerpt

Don't let those pompoms fool you. The media cheerleaders for Hillary Clinton's impending Senate run in New York also are carrying brass knuckles.

It all began with a Neil Lewis dispatch on the front page of the June 13 New York Times, where independent counsel Kenneth Starr's aides were quoted as saying a final report could be "blistering." Liberal reporters and pundits started landing blows on Starr, saying he should not be allowed to create political damage. How inappropriate for a supposedly nonpartisan officer of the court!

For a reality check, please remember the utter lack of liberal outrage when Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh re-indicted Caspar Weinberger four days before the 1992 election, charging President Bush was "in the loop" Recall the scarcity of liberal criticism of independent counsel James McKay, who failed to indict attorney general Edwin Meese but then went on to proclaim publicly that Meese was guilty of breaking the laws anyway. In both cases, the liberal talking heads rained fire on the Republicans, not the prosecutors.

Hours after the Times story appeared, ABC News reporter Tim O'Brien showered Starr with ridiculous rebuttals, none more ridiculous than that of Walsh, who went on the attack. "All you're doing is prolonging a very expensive operation, torturing a person who served the country" Walsh suggested. "You have to decide ... is it worth it?" Read that a couple times and marvel in the self-delusional chutzpah. This man ran his own expensive torture operation of Ronald Reagan and his staff for seven years, piling up an expense account with hundred-dollar breakfasts, and he's lecturing Starr? And O'Brien just shamelessly lets him?

O'Brien concluded with a healthy dollop of wishful thinking: "Sources report there is some debate in Starr's office over whether he should say anything about Hillary Clinton if a decision is made not to indict her. With his own investigation criticized by some for being overzealous, a badly timed attack on the first lady could be more damaging to Ken Starr's legacy than anyone else's."

With spinmeisters like this, why would Bill Clinton need James Carville on the payroll?

Also in the Sunday Times, columnist Maureen Dowd got a sneak peek at the Lewis story and already was churning it in her Cuisinart of pop-culture cliches, suggesting Clinton and Start could be in an "Austin Powers" movie, with "Starr cast as the peevish, power-mad Dr. …

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