The women of The View are sick and tired of people using Bill Clinton’s mistresses to get in the way of Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. At the top of Tuesday’s show Whoopi Goldberg introduced the topic: “You know, there’s a new book called The First Family Details: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents. And it claims that Bill Clinton has a mistress that visits the house so often that when Hillary is out of town, they see her and they have nicknamed her The Energizer.”
Guest host and former CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin led the charge against the rumors as she huffed: “You know I’m so tired of hearing about Bill Clinton’s sort of extracurricular activities. Because the bottom line is this is to shame Hillary. Right?” Sherri Shepherd didn’t care either: “I always see former President William F. Clinton, he always seems to be so in love with his wife.” As for Jenny McCarthy and guest host and star of American Pie Jason Biggs? Well they had more salacious takes on the whole affair: (video after the jump)
Jeff Shesol, a presidential speechwriter during Bill Clinton’s second term as well as a book and comic-strip author, posted a piece Friday on The New Yorker’s website about “how Republicans have learned to stop worrying and love the lawsuit” – or, less charitably, about conservatives setting aside their traditional opposition to judicial activism whenever an activist decision would benefit them.
Shesol argued that on matters such as Obamacare and gun control, “the right is having it both ways when it comes to the courts…[C]onservatives are doing exactly what they say the left has long done: rushing to litigate political questions, elevating all manner of disputes to the level of high constitutional principle, and asking judges to settle (or revisit) policy arguments that ought to be resolved by legislators or voters.”
WASHINGTON — I have been vindicated! For years I have been comparing the Clinton family to the family of Warren Gamaliel Harding, our 29th president and a president of dark memory at least to most liberal historians. For me, Warren was sheer slapstick, as to some degree his modern-day equivalent was, Bill Clinton. And forget not their gruesome wives.
I began my historical comparisons in the 1996 bestselling book, "Boy Clinton: The Political Biography." For years, I punctuated my syndicated column with references to the two families. Then in my 2007 book, "The Clinton Crack-Up," I clinched the comparison in a reminder of how that Little Rock monstrosity, the Clinton Library, compared so favorably with the Harding Memorial in Warren's hometown, Marion, Ohio. But now, you ask, how am I vindicated? Well, America's historical memory is not very strong. Comparing Bill with a 1920s president to a modern American audience was not easy. Yet, by month's end it will be much easier. In fact, the comparison will be inescapable.
The Washington Post identified how Bill Clinton made almost $105 million for 542 speeches around the world between January 2001, when he left the White House, and January 2013, when Hillary stepped down as secretary of state.
This infuriated die-hard liberal letter writer Jane Knaus, who belly-ached in Saturday’s Postabout how the Clintons should be celebrated, not denigrated, because they weren’t polluters or creating unsafe products. They earned their millions through talent. (Taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from “polluters” doesn’t count.) She wrote:
Sad news today that Richard Mellon Scaife, a longtime supporter of conservative causes, died this Fourth of July at the age of 82. Scaife became a target for vicious media attacks, especially during the Clinton-era, because of his support for conservative journalism and institutions.
And, as might have been expected, this morning's obituary on the New York Times Web site (a version of which will presumably be published in tomorrow's print edition) includes nasty personal swipes:
Hillary Clinton is touring to promote her State Department memoir “Hard Choices,” but most of the news she’s made along the way relates to her personal finances, not her tenure in Foggy Bottom. On Tuesday, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait examined Hillary’s “dead broke” comment and other recent remarks and revelations about the Clintons’ money with an eye toward whether or not they’ll hamper her presumed presidential campaign.
Chait opined that while some of the Clintons’ “buckraking” constitutes “both a problem of perception and a problem of substance,”Hillary nonetheless has two big economic things going for her heading into 2016: voters’ memories of the strong economy during Bill’s presidency, and the near-certainty that if she becomes the nominee, her opponent will represent “a Republican Party still wedded to the upward redistribution of income as its central policy goal.”
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker suggested in jest that his colleague David Gregory deserved to be punched in the face by former President Bill Clinton after the Meet the Press moderator asked Clinton in a recent interview about wife Hillary being "out of touch." Roker joked: "You know, I'd give anything if after David finished the question, Bill just kind of hauled off and popped him. Just see what happens." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, co-host Hoda Kotb rushed to the defense of the Clintons: "There are certain people who when you look at them you think that money is their issue and that's – they're entitled or whatever. You don't really think that when you think of the Clintons. It's not the first thing, I don't think, that pops into people's heads." Roker lamented: "I think we were all probably raised that you don't talk about money and how much people make. And it's unfortunate."
You'd think the Clintons would have learned by now that if they keep lobbing meatballs over the plate, Rush Limbaugh will keep cranking them out of the park.
Latest example of that delightful dynamic occurred after it was reported in the New York Daily News that Chelsea Clinton claims she is -- sigh -- indifferent toward money. Yes, the same Chelsea Clinton who, along with equally indifferent hubby, paid $10 million and change for swanky digs in NYC's Gramercy Park. The same Chelsea Clinton who was renumerated to the tune of $600,000 for a sporadic reporting gig at NBC News, despite paltry experience in journalism and while jobs in the industry go the way of the blacksmith. (Audio after the jump)
Once again, Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, Chief White House Correspondent and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, did his best to explain away a gaffe by a Democrat, this Hillary Clinton’s claim that they were "dead broke" after leaving the White House.
Appearing on NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, June 24, Todd proclaimed that "Bill Clinton tried to do what he does best today, explain away a thorny political problem. This time, making the case his wife is not out of touch." [See video below.]
By contrast, the competition over at CNN on Erin Burnett OutFront featured a panel discussion in which the participants made light of Mr. Clinton's defense of his consort and forecast that Bill Clinton might end up being a net negative for his wife on the campaign trail, as he was in the 2008 primaries. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer on June 9 that when she and her family left the White House in 2001, they were “dead broke.” The reaction to that remark took an interesting turn on Tuesday, when her husband and former president Bill Clinton leaped into the fray by asserting that his wife's comment “is factually true” and the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is “not out of touch.”
The former Democratic occupant of the White House made his remarks during an interview with David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning program, as part of an event for the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver.
Hillary Clinton is not as complex as the universe, but she's Big and Important enough for Peter Beinart to call his 4,600-word National Journal piece on her hypothetical presidency "A Unified Theory of Hillary" and appear to mean it (mostly) seriously.
The article deals more with Hillary's personality than with her ideology (for what it's worth, Beinart classifies Hillary, along with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as moderate liberals). Beinart lauds her "passion for public policy," her "formidable analytical ability," and her "[s]ingle-mindedness," but contends that last quality also is her "greatest flaw," pointing to how she suffered major setbacks on health-care reform and, eventually, the Iraq war because she did not, and perhaps could not, adjust to political realities.
Also approving Kelly's behavior during the interview was faux conservative Stephen Colbert, who “defended” her questions, including her quoting a leftist blogger and asking: “With almost $1 trillion spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”
Media blogger Erik Wemple at The Washington Post relayed that Bill Clinton punished Jay Leno for cracking a good pile of Monica Lewinsky jokes, despite sending the former president an expensive bicycle as a make-amends gift.
That’s a revelation that comes from a New York Post roundup of a new book by Leno staffer Dave Berg (Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show).
On Wednesday, June 17 Bloomberg reported that Bill and Hillary Clinton are taking advantage of financial planning strategies to avoid paying a hefty estate tax, even though the Clintons are prominent supports of the tax.
Despite the report, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all ignored the story on both their morning and evening newscasts. According to Bloomberg: “The Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now top out at 40 percent of assets upon death.”
Speeches from successful politicians “come at a price,” FNC’s Bret Baier noted in setting up a comedy clip at the end of his Thursday (June 12) show, “a hefty one hundred million dollars” for former President Bill Clinton since he left office in 2001.
Conan O’Brien’s staff “did the math,” Baier explained as he introduced the clip from Wednesday’s Conan on TBS, “and figured out the optional add-ins for Bill Clinton to speak at your event can really add up.”
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
George Stephanopoulos may no longer be a paid partisan activist, but he most certainly helps Democratic candidates and causes from his perch as an ostensibly objective journalist. Witness the interview the Good Morning America co-host had with Jimmy Kimmel on Monday’s edition of Kimmel’s eponymous late-night ABC program, which served to butter up former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, a likely 2016 presidential prospect.
Kimmel spent much of the interview peppering the This Week anchor with questions about his time working for President Clinton, including a question about the nation’s 42nd president “had ever brought” Stephanopoulos “to tears.” [See video below. For MP3 audio, click here]
Chris Matthews gave the commencement address at Ohio State on May 4 (not without some pre-speech complaints). His Hardball page posted the transcript. Matthews tried to be bipartisan, praising both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton for his message of the day of persistence. It’s too bad he seemed a little deficient in modern political history, or he was too focused on boosting the mythology of the Clintons.
“Bill Clinton is another case study. At the age of 34, he got beaten for re-election as governor of Arkansas. Everyone figured he was through,” Matthews claimed. “The people had gotten a look at him and had rejected him, dumped him from office.How many governors get dumped from office and ever get the job back? I can’t think of one.” Seriously?
Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall thinks that one of the reasons many conservatives despise President Obama is that he's black, but that's basically a micro-issue. The macro version, Marshall contends, is that Republicans' race-based detestation of Obama is inseparable from their discomfort with an increasingly multiracial Democratic party. In fact, Marshall argues that their "crazy...aggrieved and intense" efforts to hobble President Clinton stemmed in large part from their belief that Clinton was committed to the ideals of the civil-rights movement.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It looks like the MSNBC-Republican syndrome is starting to affect Joe Watkins, Alex Witt’s go-to GOP strategist now that Susan Del Percio has left the network. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Watkins joined his more liberal colleagues in defending the Clintons from Monica Lewinsky’s re-emergence in Vanity Fair. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
When asked his opinion of the whole matter, the strategist made it clear he was tired of the story. He erupted:
Thursday's New Day on CNN hyped Monica Lewinsky's Vanity Fair article and acknowledged that former President Clinton's sex scandal with the now former White House intern casts doubt on Hillary Clinton's credibility in the realm of women's issues. Chris Cuomo noted that Lewinsky "makes a decent case that women, who are all gathering around Hillary as the obvious choice for them, may want to rethink it, based on how she characterizes her role in her husband's affair."
Panelists Amy Chozick of the New York Times and Republican strategist Margaret Hoover agreed with Cuomo's point, but all three, along with anchor Kate Bolduan, played up the "delicate position" for Republicans if they raised the Lewinsky scandal in a potential presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Hoover hyped that Mrs. Clinton would likely gain an advantage from the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Monica Lewinsky has just penned an article in Vanity Fair describing how her life has changed since her infamous affair with President Bill Clinton and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough tore into members of the media who still defend Clinton over Lewinsky.
Appearing on Morning Joe on Wednesday May 7, Scarborough condemned the treatment of Lewinsky: “You women's rights ladies , you were sick in the '90s. You all went around, you defended the wrong person.” [See video below.]
Radio host Laura Ingraham dropped a dose of reality on the Democrats’ “war on women” narrative on Fox News Tuesday night. Filling in as host of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham began the show with a segment about Monica Lewinsky, who resurfaced this week to write about her affair with Bill Clinton in Vanity Fair. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Ingraham reminded viewers that Hillary Clinton dismissed Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony toon” in a private letter to her close friend. The Fox News substitute host charged:
"The Vatican canonized two new saints last week. And President Obama was disappointed to learn he wasn't one of them."
Other liberals who didn't have a prayer of avoiding Jodi Miller's acerbic wit this week include Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). To watch the May 2 edition of NewsBusted, click play on the embed below the page break. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, click here. To subscribe to NewsBusted on YouTube visit here.
MSNBC's Ari Melber may want to brush up on his Clinton scandal history in preparation for a Hillary Clinton White House run. As he substitute hosted Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Melber mistook a reference to the infamous cattle futures deal for a criticism of the former First Family making money since leaving office.
On the Friday, April 25, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Sean Hannity's reaction to racist comments by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, MSNBC host Al Sharpton went after Hannity's decision to reiterate some of his complaints about the Obama administration on his Hannity show after condemning Bundy's racism.
Guest Joan Walsh of Salon magazine ended up comparing Hannity's anti-Obama complaints to criticisms of the Clinton administration in the 1990s which she asserted "culminated in Timothy McVeigh." [See video below.]
Appearing as a guest on the Monday, April 21, All In with Chris Hayes, Daily Beast columnist Michelle Goldberg -- also of the far left The Nation magazine -- invoked the Oklahoma City Bombing during a discussion of the Cliven Bundy standoff, as she accused the Republican Party of "playing footsie" with militias during the Clinton administration, and suggested culpabilty by Republicans in stoking violence. [See video below.]
Friday’s Washington Post published an essay by its own arts writer Soraya Nadia McDonald hailing the new leftist documentary on Anita Hill. It doubles down on the alleged sainthood of Anita Hill and her still-unsubstantiated charges of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas. Nobody ever mentions that this paragon of taking sexual harassment seriously.... wrote in Bill Clinton’s defense in The New York Times during the Lewinsky scandal seven years after her 1991 testimony. She comically pretended not to know that Lewinsky came up in a sexual harassment case brought by Paula Jones. It was in that sexual harassment case that Clinton lied under oath about having sex with Lewinsky.
Instead, McDonald openly channeled The Nation magazine and radical feminist blogs and boasts that there’s no way senators of both parties would ever dare to challenge Hill’s motives (or lack of proof) as they did in 1991: