Don't stop thinkin' about the '90s


The venerable New York Times news-paper (it's like a blog printed out on dried tree pulp, millennials) continued to cement its reputation as an obsessive stalker of Hillary Clinton this week. We very much enjoyed a couple dumb pieces reminiscing about the glory years when Times reporting led directly to national speculation about discoloration of the president's penis.

First, we got a long thumbsucker about what President Bill Clinton will do with his time once he's President Hillary Clinton's First Gentleman, with many asides about how much trouble he gets into when he has too much time on his hands, the scamp. Maybe he will be a special Middle East peace envoy, irritating the new secretary of state. Maybe he will be some kind of economic czar; Democrats love czars, don't they? Maybe he will throw wild parties and show up at breakfast with lipstick on his collar, who can really say?

Noodling along for 31 profitless paragraphs, the piece finds its nut graf in paragraph 24.

Advisers to Mrs. Clinton, asked about specific roles that Mr. Clinton might play, said she had not given the matter much thought.

“She would certainly seek his advice and counsel,” said Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton. “Beyond that, it being July, it would be getting ahead of oneself to talk about any sort of formalized role for anyone in an administration.”

Thanks for that! At least that piece involved some reporting and introduction of new ideas, unlike Maureen Dowd's latest chatty-catty reminiscence. MoDo dipped into her thesaurus to "report" on Bill's relaxed, heartfelt valentine to his wife at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night.

Being MoDo, she made it partly about herself, and partly about how the Clintons are tacky hillbillies with a sham marriage and few accomplishments. And, natch, she mostly drew on her 1999 Pulitzer-winning columns about Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky (no, seriously, she won a Pulitzer for that shit).

Dowd REALLY hated the part where Clinton talked about the Hillbot actually being a loving mother and caring human being.

A quarter-century after Clinton aides wrote memos about how to warm up and round out Hillary by raising her profile as a mother, Bill was still trying to drive that point home.

“My daughter had the best mother in the whole world,” he said tonight, adding that Hillary was “first and foremost” a mother, “our family’s designated worrier” who only worried about Bill’s parenting when he took a couple days off with Chelsea to watch all six “Police Academy” movies “back-to-back.” He described Hillary on her knees, lining Chelsea’s Stanford dorm room drawers with paper when their daughter moved to college, until Chelsea told them it was time to leave.

It is another example of the overcorrecting that marks Hillary’s career. In trying to feminize and maternalize Hillary, Bill almost went overboard about that “girl,” as he called her three times. He poured on the estrogen, presaging his role as helpmeet in the East Wing.

Oddly, the Times has not spent much time waxing nostalgic about its error-riddled reporting on the Whitewater land deal. That reporting led to years of investigations that wasted millions of dollars, and got the president impeached for a blowjob by involving government prosecutors in an unrelated lawsuit. Weird that they don't bring that up more.

[NYT / NYT redux]

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