The first family's alcohol troubles

By Joan Walsh

Published June 1, 2001 8:00AM (EDT)

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I respect Salon as a news source so much, that is my browser's home page. I check Salon for my news every day. Additionally, I am a leftie. I was appalled by the press' coverage of the "scandals" of the Clintons' personal lives. Bill Clinton has a very common weakness: women. Big deal! He was a good and effective president.

George W. Bush has been a terrible president. But what was true a year ago is still true: The weaknesses of the president's personal life are irrelevant. And the weaknesses of their daughters are even further removed from relevance.

And if drinking in college before the age of 21 is such a horrible sin, then I'll defiantly take the shame of it.

It is not Jenna Bush's fault that her father is an asshole. Please show enough decency to leave her alone.

-- Matthew Ryan

Pity the poor Bush family. They want a free ride from the press for the daughters, thinking Chelsea Clinton got one, why can't their daughters? The truth is that once she reached Stanford, the free ride for Chelsea ended. She managed to stay out of the limelight because she seemed to have been brought up well.

Conservative Christians constantly proclaim parents are directly responsible for how children act and the adults they become. I hope they question the moral and ethical upbringing given the Bush daughters. I hope to hear them loudly complain, saying these girls should set an example. After all, Bush was elected to set a moral and ethical example from the White House.

-- Michael Neu

There is such a blatant double standard displayed in this article. There is nothing more to this story than a teenage coming of age by way of bad judgment. This information is not even newsworthy. When Clinton was in office the press was told that Chelsea was "off limits" and they complied diligently. This article spews assumptive psychobabble that is obviously partisan beyond description. It seems you were not reluctant enough to play family therapist to a family you do not even know. You have no idea what kind of relationship this family has with each other and such speculative banter has no place in journalism.

-- David Alan Rodriguez

Underage college drinking is an issue on every campus. Is everyone who has a fake ID acting out against his or her parents? Or is that only what the media constructs when the culprits are the offspring of a wealthy and powerful political family?

I am no fan or W. or his party (or partying for that matter). However, pointing to a 1972 incident when he was 26 years old is not enough evidence to convict him as an alcoholic. How many young adults still live and act like college students at that age? More than you think.

Please desist from using as a vehicle for a scandal-sheet quality story that is more suitable for a gossip column.

-- Dean R. Peterson

It's funny, the first conclusion I drew from all of this is that these girls are probably under a lot of stress right now between college studies and the entire world media scrutinizing their every move, but I guess maybe that's because I don't have an agenda behind my opinions. I remember when Chelsea Clinton was the focus of a lot of media attention early in Bill Clinton's presidential term. It's hilarious to me that the National Enquirer is actually regarded as a respectable news source twice in this article.

There seems to be a fairly large faction of the political media establishment that wants to legitimize this "Hard Copy"/National Enquirer style of celebrity gossip "news" reporting. Of course, the catch is that similar to straight-up gossip columns, the writers pick their friends and enemies based on a mixture of how hard they have to work to uncover dirt on them, perceived slights against them or their brethren, and what they believe their target readers/viewers want to see.

I think it's utterly reprehensible to see the fangs and claws so obviously exposed from these bottom-feeding parasites. I thought the same thing about writers who speculated about Bill Clinton's family issues. What this country considers newsworthy has gotten so bizarre in the last decade that I don't even know where to turn to in order to get real news anymore. I've been reading foreign news Web sites more and more lately.

-- Josh Taillon

By Salon Staff

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