The Monica Lewinski scandal didn’t really break (or “Go Viral” as we say today) until President Bill Clinton’s famous angry denial, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman …Miss Lewinsky.”
That was Monday, January 26, 1998. All week, stories started coming out: Clinton’s use of weaselly words that cast doubt on his denial, rumors of a stained blue dress, and more.
True doesn’t usually cover big breaking news, but the whole thing was just so comical I couldn’t stand it. I write the stories on Sundays, and I did my usual thing, and ignored the scandal.
But once I was done, I turned my attention to the growing pile of “Fornigate” stories …and returned to work, doing a second batch of stories concentrating only on the scandal.
The result: a Special “Fornigate” Issue, which I mailed to the entire readership. It’s archived here for posterity.
Special Fornigate Edition
Written 1 February 1998 (stories not updated since)
But: Don’t miss the “Liberal Response” to this.
President Clinton is not terribly convincing when he denies having a “sexual relationship” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. A Cable News Network/Time magazine poll taken just after the charges came to light finds that 48 percent of Americans believe he did have an affair with her. Just 31 percent think he didn’t; 21 percent are unsure. A parallel CBS television network poll found 41 percent said the charges were “probably true” while 21 percent thought the charges were “probably untrue.” Clinton has steadfastly insisted the charges are false. (UPI) …However, he has offered to pay Monica’s dry cleaning bill.
Sex, Lies and Audiotape
The charges against President Clinton came to light after former White House secretary Linda Tripp recorded her telephone calls with Monica Lewinsky once the intern had been transferred away from the White House. After turning the tapes over to Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, Tripp wore a hidden microphone during an in-person meeting with Lewinsky in an attempt to gather even more evidence. (Christian Science Monitor) …So forevermore, any secret taping to gather evidence against a president will be known as a “Tripp-wire.”
Stand By Your Man
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is said to be “not flinching” from the charges against her husband. The idea of him committing adultery in the White House with an intern follows a long line of similar charges, such as those levied by Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones. “I think people would certainly rather see her err on the side of being a little bit naive and saving her marriage than going out and questioning his integrity in front of the country,” claims former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers. (AP) …Still, Hillary plans to write a new book, “It Takes a Village to Satisfy My Husband”.
Former President Jimmy Carter says Bill Clinton is not distracted from his presidential duties by the charges swirling around Washington. “I think President Clinton has a remarkable ability to focus on matters that are of concern to our country,” he said. However, he would not say whether he believed Clinton’s denials about the adulterous affair. Further, he refused to say whether he and Clinton had discussed the scandal during a “wide-ranging” meeting. “If we did, I wouldn’t tell you,” Carter said. (Reuters) …Bill simply insisted on knowing how Carter turned admissions of “lust in my heart” into a political advantage.
Gore Stands Behind Clinton
An “outraged” President Clinton angrily defended himself against charges that he had an affair with a White House intern and then urged her to lie about their liaisons under oath. However, reporters questioned his use of “lawyer words” in his denial, such as Clinton saying he did not have “any improper relations” with the woman. They wondered aloud what kind of relations, then, did they have? Clinton further says he never told anyone to lie, but rather says everyone should “tell the truth in this matter.” (UPI) …They’re right to force him to be precise. He never has been able to remember the difference between “lie” and “lay”.
The wording of Bill Clinton’s denials in the Clinterngate scandal have left observers groping for answers. “A lot of people speculate — and it has been reported — that the president says oral sex does not constitute a sexual relationship. Is that his view?” asked reporter Tony Snow of White House aide Ann Lewis on “Fox News Sunday”. No, Lewis answered. “Sex is sex … a sexual relationship means what it says, and that includes sex,” she said in an apparently unsuccessful attempt to clarify his beliefs. (Reuters) …This wouldn’t be the first time a president has been brought down by “Deep Throat”.
An analysis by Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter suggests that President Clinton is predestined to cheat on his wife. Factors such as growing up in Hot Springs, Ark., (“then a wide-open gambling town”) and genetics (“Everyone in Clinton’s immediate family suffered from some kind of compulsive disorder or addiction”) have made illicit affairs hard for Clinton to resist, Alter says. Add to that the Freudian connection between “‘power and the penis’ (you knew that was coming up some time)”, and the president’s many sex scandals begin to make sense. (Newsweek) …The First Lady has some pre-destiny action going too: one anagram of “Hillary Rodham Clinton” is “Lynch harlot in mid-oral”.
Pre-Installed Velcro Seams
ABC News reported that Monica Lewinsky had received a dress as a gift from the president, and that it was soiled with …uh… a large sample of his DNA. However, rival CBS News reports that the FBI confiscated the dress during a search of Lewinsky’s apartment and has found “no traces” of DNA evidence on the garment. (UPI) …Leading to possible “obstruction of justice” charges against Martha Stewart for sending a copy of her “Fighting Stubborn Stains” video to the White House.
A poll by Time magazine and the Cable News Network finds that while 65 percent think it is likely President Clinton indeed had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, 54 percent of those surveyed think Clinton’s moral standards are the same as the average married man. (Reuters) …The American Dream is still alive: anyone can grow up to be president!
Update: Don’t miss the “Liberal Response” to this special edition.
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