Sunday, June 20, 2004
The Clinton Interview: I'm having a tough time working my way through tonight's "60 Minutes" interview with former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton's lies and justifications for his behavior are bad enough, but when you've got to deal with Dan Rather's misstatements of fact, it can really get frustrating. Case in point:
Rather: In his book and, time and again, in our interview, Mr. Clinton goes after his nemisis, special prosecutor (Ken) Starr. He says he still believes, and is furious about it. That Starr used an investigation into the Whitewater real estate deal as a pretext to delve into the most intimate details of his personal life.
This is journalism without the facts. The truth is that the three judge panel overseeing Kenneth Starr's investigation kept adding to his mandate as more and more wrongdoing (both by the President and others) was uncovered. To characterize Starr as some sort of super prosecutor, answerable to no one, is a lie designed to rewrite history.
And when Clinton speaks, history gets rewritten again.
Clinton: Starr issued his report, and there were hundreds and hundreds of references to sex and two to Whitewater. And there really never was anything to Whitewater. It was nothing. It was a deal I lost money on. I made a business investment and lost money.
It's true that the Clintons lost money on Whitewater -- just not as much as they should have. Jim and Susan MacDougal shifted funds from their S&L, illegally, to prop up Whitewater. There was nothing to Whitewater? Hardly.
Clinton goes on about how he was a victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and makes some fairly stunning statements alleging prosecutorial misconduct by Ken Starr. Clinton's a lawyer, so you'd think he'd be careful of slamming Starr, after all, it wouldn't be difficult to prove malice.