Let the Whitewater butt covering begin

By Joe Conason


Read the story

The only conclusion that can fairly be drawn about Whitewater is that the Clinton defense team accomplished what all defense teams try to do — it denied the prosecution the evidence necessary to achieve a conviction. The Clintons did this through both lawful means (assertion of attorney-client privilege) and less-lawful means (such as the payments arranged from Clinton allies to Webb Hubbell to keep his mouth shut, the assertion of frivolous privileges and the false testimony under oath by Bill and Hillary Clinton and Susan McDougal of their inability to recall the relevant facts).

Notwithstanding the Clintons’ success in orchestrating this strategy of denial, some damning documents were produced, such as the checks indicating payments to Bill Clinton.

A fair inference from this pattern, at least in the court of public opinion if not a court of law, is that the Clintons were guilty as sin. An honest man holding the office of president would have waived all privileges and cooperated with the investigators, as President Carter did when he was investigated.

– Douglas B. Levene

What Joe Conason fails to acknowledge is that the independent prosecutor law was flawed from inception in that it charged prosecutors to investigate fully without the budgetary or caseload limitations that check typical district attorney. This law was, in fact, put in place by the Democratic Party, and there were few complaints about it from them when the independent counsels were investigating Republican presidents. In those times, they typically spoke of being the target of independent prosecutor investigations as though it was tantamount to conviction.

– Richard Solomon

The important fact about the Clintons and Whitewater is that they should have been presumed innocent all along, unless and until proven guilty of some crime or other. Ray’s decision not to prosecute says this: “I have plenty of evidence to find the Clintons guilty, but not enough to persuade a jury biased in the Clintons’ favor to find them guilty as charged.” He still leaves a large cloud of suspicion floating above the heads of the Clintons because he’s too chicken to declare them innocent. If he can’t put up, he should shut up.

– Maurice Englander

Moral institutions (sometimes self-appointed), like prosecuting attorneys and newspapers, often cling to the issue because of the “rightness” of the cause. They believe that their cause is so righteous that they become blinded from seeing the truth. It is nice to be a seeker of justice, but better still to see the truth apart from the “justice” of the matter.

– Jim Merriman

No surprise here. Conservatives have been playing the “If we can’t run the country, no one will” game for years. Too bad for them the economy wasn’t driven into the ground as they so confidently predicted eight years ago, because their credibility is at an all-time low.

How they thought they could run an insubstantial candidate in this context is way beyond me, but I’m not complaining. Let them cover their butts, it will still be obvious to most that they are naked, scared and desperate. Until the conservatives can redefine what they stand for, something that has been largely successfully co-opted by the centrist Democrats, they will have little else to do besides try to dig up dirt on the other side.

– Jim Flynn

Those who award the Pulitzer Prize for journalism ought to appoint a commission to field complaints for bad journalism, and, where it is found to exist, strip the offending organization or writer of a past-won Pulitzer. The New York Times and Washington Post should be stripped — in my view, the Times should lose three Pulitzers, and the Post two — for their betrayal of the principles of journalism with respect to Whitewater coverage. The action of the commission would be accompanied by a written citation detailing the nature and extent of the bad journalism, and the effects of that bad journalism on the body politic.

– Fred Hoefle

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>