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Bill Clinton: “I think they ought to tell the truth…I just want people to tell the truth”

Friday, September 8, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Since when, exactly? Was that part of the plea agreement that brought about the former president’s five year suspension of his law license for knowingly making false statements under oath? Or just a new policy designed to end his disbarment by the United States Supreme Court?

The manufactured outrage from the Clinton airbrush brigade has gone so shrill as to now become self-defeating.  Paul Begala’s hysterics on “The Situation Room” were particularly over-the-top.  One of Begala’s big arguments: Berger should sue for slander.

Right.  Public figure.  Docudrama.  Inquiry into the witness’s credibility. (“About those docs in the socks, Mr. Berger.”)

Ditto for Madelein Albright.  As I said last night, ABC should snip the hang-up scene and insert a dramatization of Berger stuffing his pants with classified docs, Madeleine Albright clinking glasses with Kim Jong Il, and Bill Clinton’s last press conference, split screen with a shot of Marc Rich.  The “Path to 9/11” dramatizes the Clinton Adminstration’s fecklessness and fundamental irresponsibility.  So does their reaction to three minutes of a five hour mini-series that isn’t primarily or even secondarily about them.

Will ABC do a major cave, either via huge edits or pulling the program?  I can’t imagine them doing that much damage to their brand because a handful of pols want them too, even when one of them  –Hillary– is notorious about carrying a grudge.  Not only would capitulation to a demand for censorship turn the “C” in ABC into “short for coward,” the damage done among center-right viewers would be immense and lasting.

Much more important, though, is that the series powerfully conveys knowledge about the enemy.  This is its strength and its importance, and I don’t see the cooler heads at ABC giving up this opportunity to tell a story that needs to be told.

One of the reasons the Clinton-induced frenzy is mounting is likely the result of the recognition mong the censors about the size of the audience the complaints have built, and the recognition –sure to follow– of the Clinton gang’s enormous vanity when America watches a fine and serious documdrama, sees how little it has to do with the Clinton-era incompetence, is amazed at all the whining, and then concludes that, once again, Clinton has hijacked a national moment and turned it into a one-man play.


One more point: Begala and many of the “cancel it” camp are pretending anger over the fact that Rush (and 899 others, including me) got “screeners” of the program. Begala asserts that this proves deep bias.  What it proves is that Rush has an audience of 20 million, and many of the rest of us large audiences as well.  I get screeners and books every day by producers/agents/promoters of every stripe trying to get some air time or mentions.  Begala knows this, just as he also knows that the program was screened at the National Press Club for a large audience that included, among other Democratic partisans, Richard ben-Veniste.  The dishonesty of the attack on the program as selectively previewed tips us to the dishonesty of the critics, and reminds us of the assault on Sinclair Broadcasting during Campaign 2004.  (And of the silence that came from the left when Michael Moore peddled his lies, or earlier anti-Nixon programs  such television’s 1989 “The Final Days,” or Oliver Stone’s Nixon.) 

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