I'm being smeared by Mr. Truth-Teller, David Brock! The old sleazemeister-turned-politically-correct-scold is very, very upset that I was allowed to yak about movies on the NBC Nightly News for 20 (admittedly, almost endless-seeming) seconds during the oh so heavily-viewed Saturday evening edition. Personally, I can't think of any more effective way to achieve Brock's long term goal of driving me out of the public eye for crimethink than putting me on TV immediately after George Clooney... but Brock isn't much of a strategic thinker. I wouldn't look so awful following, say, Andy Rooney on a bad hangover day, but after George Clooney, c'mon ... the contrast is so absurd you might as well put a sign around my neck saying "Deformed Nosepicker."
This hit piece is Brock's usual guilt-by-association demonization job that his leftist-funded Media Matters website has tried on me who-knows-how-many-times-before: you know, the usual: Roy Cohn meets Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon.
Which is all pretty funny because David Brock may well owe the most famous exploit of his brilliant career -- bringing about the impeachment of President Clinton -- to that cynosure of all that's evil ... namely, me.
Talk about guilt-by-association!
Back in December of 1992, a month after the election of Bill Clinton, I sent Brock's employer, The American Spectator magazine, an essay about how vulnerable the President-E
rlect was to the exact same charges of sexual harassment made by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas, charges that had helped propel Bill and Hill into the White House during "the Year of the Woman." I wrote:
I know of no evidence whatsoever that Clinton has ever made "unwanted sexual advances to women who worked for him or with him." Yet, if I was an investigative reporter wishing to make a name for myself as the Woodward/Bernstein of the 90's, I'd be highly intrigued by these facts: Governor Clinton has for many years presided over thousands of female state employees. By his own testimony, he has not always paid strict attention to his marriage vows. Finally, he is widely reputed to be a man like any other man, only more so.
On the other hand, Mr. Clinton is younger and more Kennedyesque than the hapless Mr. [Robert] Packwood, so a higher proportion of any propositions he might have made would have ultimately proven to be "wanted," thus letting him off the hook, according to the fascinating logic of current harassment theory. Yet, not even Warren Beatty has a career batting average of 1.000. So, all in all, it seems likely that some enterprising reporter is going to think it worth his while to go Pulitzer hunting among the secretarial pools and law offices of Little Rock. I'm sure they've been raked over before by journalists, but they were looking for the wrong kind of woman. Far more scandalous in today's environment would be the story of the woman who didn't commit adultery with Bill Clinton.
Most likely, the reporter won't find anybody who'll say anything. Quite possibly, there is nothing to be said. But if there is, at any moment over the next four years a vast brouhaha may erupt. While initially amusing to contemplate, the thought of a Watergate-like paralysis of the executive branch, followed by an Al Gore Presidency and a retributive Democratic attack on every Republican who has ever winked at a pretty girl, is not.
If Mr. Clinton has any secret worries on this score, he should act now. A vague confession and apology would cause a short flurry of tsk-tsking, but the ultimate loser would not be the President but the expansive definition of sexual harassment.
The American Spectator dispatched their investigative reporter David Brock, author of a muckraking attack on Anita Hill, to Little Rock from whence he returned with lengthy articles about Bill Clinton's sex habits. Indeed, Brock's reporting led to Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit (which Clinton eventually settled for $850,000), in which Clinton perjured himself over Monica Lewinsky (causing him to lose his Arkansas legal license), brining about his 1998 impeachment.
Perhaps Brock's magazine would have got the idea anyway without my suggesting it to them, so we can't say for sure what the exact chain of causality was. But, judging by the standards of guilt-by-association he uses against me, he sure looks guilty as charged!
By the way, I want to thank my co-conspirator David Brock for kindly posting a usable video copy of the NBC segment on his Media Matters website. I hadn't been able to get the one on the NBC site to display, but my ally's works like a charm (here).