teisipäev, juuni 22, 2004

Same As It Ever Was

I've come to the conclusion that the only difference between me and Howard Kurtz is that he gets paid to do this. Also, I don't have a receding hairline. In today's column:

The former president, of course, wants to talk about the Oslo accords and Kosovo and a balanced budget and the creation of 20 million jobs. And the rest of the world wants to talk about Monica. In fact, I was surprised by how much of "60 Minutes," which was boiled down from more than four hours of interviews, was devoted to Lewinsky-related matters.

There's a certain role reversal here, as my Post colleague John Harris has observed. When Clinton was in office, he and his allies wanted everyone to "move on" and stop obsessing on his personal life. Now that he's selling a book, he's the one talking about his sexual "demons" and moral error and sleeping on the couch and anger at Ken Starr. Which, of course, gives Clinton's critics a free pass to do the same.

Try to follow Howie's logic. Clinton wants to talk about policy. Dan Rather speaks with him for four hours, covering all aspects of his presidency. Rather then cuts the interview so that about a third of the hour that actually airs is devoted to sex. And Bill Clinton is somehow responsible for that. It's "role reversal" because Clinton didn't want to talk about sex as president and now...well, as noted in the previous paragraph, Clinton still doesn't want to talk about sex.

This fact is made even more evident by Clinton's reported rant in a BBC interview when the reporter wouldn't shut up about Lewinsky. Meanwhile, the right is pulling out the exact same lies they used for eight years. So really nothing's changed at all. Otherwise, spot-on analysis there, Howie.

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