AP: Clinton Impeachment Cleaned Up For History Textbooks

December 27th, 2005 10:29 PM

Associated Press education writer Ben Feller tackles the question of how Bill Clinton's impeachment is being handled in high school textbooks. The quick answer: with quite a bit of euphemism and some sad editorializing.

Middle school texts describe it as "a personal relationship between the president and a White House intern." In high school books, it is Clinton's "improper relationship with a young White House intern," or Clinton "denied having sexual relations" with an intern. Students don't need the bawdy details to grasp the impeachment struggle, said Allan Lichtman, a presidential historian and professor at American University. 

It is ironic that liberals don't mind pushing raw sexual entertainment in prime time, but go very vague in describing Clinton's intern violations. Feller does not explain that historian Lichtman is presently campaigning in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.  He also does not use a label when giving quote space to liberal historian Alan Brinkley (son of the old NBC/ABC anchor David Brinkley.) As for the editorializing, it sometimes sounds like the liberal media is still doing the narrating:

Sometimes, the language gets blunt. "A History of the United States," a Pearson Prentice Hall high school text, refers to the impeachment scandal as "a sorry mess" that diminished Clinton and his rivals. Polls showed most Americans did not believe Clinton's "tortured explanations of his behavior," the book says, but also did not think his offenses warranted his removal.

This was pretty much the first draft of media history, finding only a "sorry mess" with "no heroes."