Ladies' Home Journal Asks Bill Clinton for Marital Advice In Fawning Interview

The November issue of Ladies’ Home Journal (circulation: 4.1 million) arrived in the wife's mail, and it has a cover story/interview with Bill Clinton by Editor-in-Chief Diane Salvatore. Most of the questions up front are about eating and nutrition and obesity prevention, and Hillary's ability to scarf a dozen chocolate donuts as a stress reducer when they were dating. Yawn. Salvatore is a classic liberal suckup, especially when it comes to Chelsea, whom she typically presents as one of the best things the Clintons have done, and even asks Daddy if he envisions her as a "future Condi Rice." But look at the questions about marriage and Hillary's ethics, and enjoy creating your own answers. (The wife's guess for Bill's real marital advice: "Don't get caught.")

Salvatore: "In your book, you wrote very movingly about wanting to save your marriage...[She mentions the magazine's long-standing feature "Can This Marriage Be Saved?"] Mr. President, what insights and modifications have you felt you have wanted to focus on to keep your marriage now healthy and strong?"Clinton: "I think the most important thing – particularly for us, because Hillary has to go to Washington every week - is to maintain the communication. I don’t mean, ‘Hello, how are you?’ I am someone who believes that quality time and quantity time are two different things...." He concluded by glancing at the obvious with great understatement: "sometimes we’re better at it than other times. But, you know, we’ve built a whole life together. I like that you ask those questions. Because it’s always easy to bag it. It’s harder to stay. But you know, after a certain point it seems like a lot of trouble to start again, too. There’s something to be said for sticking."INTENSELY ETHICAL....LIKE HILLARY?Salvatore: "You talked about your daughter. She’s so accomplished and impressive. In what ways is she most like you and in what ways is she most like Senator Clinton?"Clinton: "She has her mother’s character."Salvatore: "By which you mean?"Clinton: "First, she’s a good person. She’s an intensely ethical person. And she’s very strong-willed without being priggish or intolerant. And she has her mother’s intelligence."LET’S GO EASY ON THE MARRIAGE ADVICESalvatore: "Are you looking forward to her one day being married, and what is the single most important piece of advice you would give her on her wedding day?"Clinton: "Hmmmm. Well, of course I am. I want her to wait until she’s good and ready. I used to tell when she was little that, you know, she was my only child, so it was fine with me if she stayed home till she was 25. Then by the time she was 35, if she wanted to get married, why go right ahead." (That's his whole answer.)

Last year in the same magazine, the Bushes and the Kerrys were each interviewed by Salvatore. At the time, I summed up the liberal bias for NRO:

I'm sure the Bush camp is pleased with their interview, in which Bush sounds very domestically moderate (he looooves Medicare, for example, and touts the new prescription drug subsidies). The questions aren't hostile. But Salvatore never brings John Kerry up, and neither do the Bushes. Then comes the Kerry pair. Salvatore asks several please-bash-Bush questions. "Senator, do you believe that President Bush is a false patriot?" (No, but can I tell you about Max Cleland again?) And: "There’s been a lot of discussion about the fact that President Bush has been one of the most vocal Presidents in terms of his faith. Do you find the President’s discussion of his faith as part of his decisionmaking process inappropriate?" Kerry: "I think it crosses a line, and it sort of squeezes out the diversity that the presidency is supposed to embrace." (When Bush is asked about his faith, among his first few words are "Jewish...Muslim...Christian.") Salvatore also asked Kerry blatant questions from the left. "How apt, Senator, do you feel is the comparison between the Iraqi war and the Vietnam war?" (Kerry goes through his usual multilaterlist clucking, and adds how much it would help us fight terror by having more "thoughtful" positions on "North Korea, global warming, AIDS.") She also asked: "Every major civil rights movement in this country has eventually prevailed. Looking through the prism of history, do you feel that same-sex marriage is inevitable in America as a legal right?" He starts to talk, and then, he has to answer his cell phone! He comes back around to searching for a way of "respecting both" tradition and, well, the utter rejection of tradition. Salvatore wrote up front that she conducted both interviews as "another effort at keeping the playing field level." But her liberal bias came shining through, at least during her time with Team Kerry.
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis