Accuracy in Media

Bill Clinton’s book of “memoirs” is being advertised under the name “My Life.” Someone obviously made a mistake when they titled it. Anyone who had actually read the book would have titled it “My Lies.” It is a shameless attempt to distort history and whitewash Clinton’s disgraceful legacy of sexual misconduct, lying under oath, and using the office of the presidency for his own personal gain. Don’t waste your money on it.

Surprisingly, even many liberals who normally slobber over Clinton’s every utterance have given the book terrible reviews. The most-reported was in the overtly liberal New York Times. This paper is so liberal that it really needs to be renamed, “The Official Newspaper of the Democrat Party.” But their reviewer, Michiko Kakutami, described Clinton’s book as “sloppy, messy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull – the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself”

Kakutami continued: “But while Dan Rather, who interviewed Mr. Clinton for ’60 Minutes,’ has already compared the book to the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, arguably the most richly satisfying autobiography by an American president, ‘My Life’ has little of that classic’s unsparing candor or historical perspective. Instead, it devolves into a hodgepodge of jottings: part policy primer, part 12-step confessional, part stump speech and part presidential archive, all, it seems, hurriedly written and even more hurriedly edited.”

By the way, she also reviewed Hillary Clinton’s book Living History. Kakutami said it had “the overprocessed taste of a stump speech, the calculated polish of a string of anecdotes to be delivered on a television chat show.” Maybe the liberal newspapers are starting to understand that their readers actually want to hear the truth.

Dan Rather, one of the slobberers, did a 60 minute infomercial for Bill’s book. 60 Minutes pretends to be impartial. CBS advertises it as “investigative journalism,” and claims that its journalists ask the “hard questions.” Although I almost lost my dinner, I watched the whole nauseating hour. Clinton could not have afforded the millions it would have cost him for a one hour primetime infomercial, he got one for free. All the questions were softballs, with Rather helping Clinton look as good as he could.

If you were hoping that Clinton would finally admit what the entire world knows, that he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, dream on. He describes his “relationship” with her as “foolish.” But he never tells the truth, and he never expresses real remorse. He’s real sorry ? but just that he got caught.

In the book he continues to lie about his sexual misconduct with numerous women. I couldn’t remember all of the names of the women who claimed to have been harassed or had affairs with him, so I did a web search for “Bill Clinton sex partners” and got 112,000 hits. One of them was a liberal website which attempted to blunt the force of Clinton’s multiple affairs by listing other presidents who were rumored to have had affairs, including John F. Kennedy. So what? Is that supposed to excuse Clinton for abusing women and then lying about it?

He still claims he didn’t sexually harass Paula Jones while he was Governor of Arkansas. Then why did he pay her $850,000 to shut up? Surely it was because the State Troopers that he ordered to bring her to his hotel suite would have been called to testify. Several troopers have admitted that they often pimped for Clinton, bringing both streetwalkers and women who caught Bill’s roving eye to him.

He also continues to deny his 12 year affair with Gennifer Flowers, although she has tapes of the two of them together. There are too many other alleged and proven Clinton exploits to mention here, but he denies them all. I think he’s in denial?

He casually dismisses the Whitewater scandal as a “land deal where I lost money.” Well, gee, Bill, if that’s all it was, why did a dozen of your close associates go to jail over it? It was only because Susan McDougal was stupid enough to be loyal to you and refuse to testify against you that you’re not with them. (McDougal’s husband recently revealed that she was also one of Clinton’s sex partners.)

In a Newsweek article about the book Weston Kosova and Michael Isikoff write, “Yet Clinton shows no remorse for the shameless legal dodges he used to avoid being pinned down by prosecutors. During his 1998 deposition in the Paula Jones case, in which he denied having ‘sexual relations’ with Monica Lewinsky, Clinton writes, ‘I would have answered … truthfully’ if Jones’ lawyers had asked the right questions. He was, of course, later found in contempt by the judge in the case, who said Clinton gave ‘false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process.'”

Clinton blames everyone but himself for his sins. His stepfather was an alcoholic. So was my father, and so were the fathers of millions of other Americans. That doesn’t give us a free ride to blame them for everything we have done wrong. Self-pity is a strong feature of this weak book.

He also follows his wife’s lead in blaming his faults on wild conspiracy theories. To quote the NY Times review again, “The other has to do with Mrs. Clinton’s penchant for blaming enemies, from political opponents to a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’ for her and her husband’s failures and travails.” I can see where Bill and Hillary might believe this. There is a very real possibility that Conservative Conspirators:

   1. Forced the Clintons to get involved with illegal activities in the Whitewater deal.
   2. Snuck a teenage intern onto the White House staff to attract Bill.
   3. Manipulated Bill into bombing foreign nations to distract attention from the Lewinsky affair.
   4. Tricked the Clintons and Al Gore into taking illegal campaign contributions from Buddhist monks and then lying about them.
   5. Made Bill convince his Cabinet members to go on national television and lie for him.
   6. Coerced him into illegally obtaining FBI files on his political opponents and lying about that, too.
   7. Made him lie under oath to a Federal Grand Jury.
   8. And generally caused all his other problems except those attributed to his stepfather.

I am not exactly sure just how these evil conspirators could have accomplished these devious acts, but you can be sure that Conservative Truth’s staff of investigative journalists will leave no stone unturned to discover the truth. We will report to you immediately if we discover that Billary’s Vast Right Wing Conspiracy actually exists.

Seriously, it’s sad, but I think that on some level these two have actually deluded themselves into thinking that they have no responsibility for their many betrayals of the American public. He claims that he and Hillary got closer after his affair with Monica Lewinsky “to fight off the right-wing coup.” They really believe that the Wicked Right Wing has caused all their problems. But that’s another article.

The book is almost 1000 pages long (zzzzzz), but very little of it speaks to the things most Americans want to know about. Long passages are devoted to inane descriptions of meals Bill has eaten, speeches he has given, and back-slapping sessions with good ole boy constituents. He goes on and on about the turkeys he “pardoned” (not the illegal pardons on his last days in the White House; the Thanksgiving turkeys that presidents traditionally allow to live). There are long-winded, mind-numbing descriptions of political hassles in Arkansas forever ago that even people in Arkansas (much less the rest of us) don’t care about any more. He even describes how he got up at 4AM one morning to watch the inauguration of the Nigerian president on TV. Lots of people have insomnia from time to time, Bill, but few are so narcissistic that they think the whole world would be fascinated by a description of it.

My main problem with the book is that it is full of lies, lies and more lies. We’ve talked about some of the lies of commission. More telling, perhaps are the lies of omission. In his desperate attempt to put a positive “spin” on his presidency, he rambles on for thousands of pages about his few genuine accomplishments. But he totally glosses over his many failures. Space does not permit a recounting of even the top ten of these, but one must be mentioned.
Clinton’s main promise to the American people was that he would institute universal health coverage. He immediately made a monstrous blunder by putting Hillary in charge of this multi-billion dollar sinkhole for our tax dollars. Fortunately America hated the idea of the wife of an elected official bossing around people who had actually been elected that the project was doomed from the start. They resented her pushy attitude, and they recognized that the secret meetings she held were illegal. This was to have been the cornerstone of the Clinton presidency. There is hardly a mention of it in the book.

By far the most obnoxious part of the book deals with Clinton’s impeachment. To be only the second president in our nation’s history to have been impeached is a shame that will go to his grave with him. He will always be remembered as the only president in modern times to have been impeached. Yet he refers to his impeachment as a “badge of honor.” He refers to Ken Starr no less than 41 times, and makes it clear that he believes it was Starr’s fault that he was impeached. Starr, a respected jurist, was chosen by both parties because he is widely known to be a man of integrity and fairness. Yet Bill sees him as just another conspirator out to get him.

He just doesn’t get it. Bill Clinton was not impeached because he seduced a teenaged intern that he should have been protecting. He was impeached because he lied under oath to a Federal Grand Jury. That’s called perjury. Perjury is a felony. It is an offense punishable by prison time for an ordinary citizen. It is a much more serious offense for an Officer of the Court, which all lawyers are. It is even more serious for the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of America, the President, to commit perjury, because it undermines the very foundation of our entire judicial system. Bill tries to make the impeachment all about sex. It wasn’t (although any other chief executive of any company or government agency would have lost his job over proven sexual harassment). It was about lying, something that is as normal to Clinton as breathing.

He claims that he was “exonerated” of all the dozens of charges against him. Really, Billy? You were disbarred from the practice of law in Arkansas for a period of five years. You had to pay a $25,000 fine. And the Supreme Court of the United Sates of America disbarred you from practicing law before them. That doesn’t sound like “exoneration” to me. But I guess you were lucky. If you hadn’t been a sitting president, you would have done prison time.

Bill Clinton reveals little that we didn’t already know in his book. We already knew that he was self-centered, narcissistic, and a pathological liar. For some reason he avoided these subjects in the book. The rest is stuff that others have already revealed in previous books, or that is too boring for anyone to have written.

Interestingly, the most revealing self-portrait of Bill Clinton comes not from his book, but from an autobiographical essay written while he was in high school. “I am a living paradox – deeply religious, yet not as convinced of my exact beliefs as I ought to be; wanting responsibility yet shirking it; loving the truth but often times giving way to falsity.”

The book debuted on bookstore shelves at $35. If you really have nothing better to do with your money, send it to me. But if you simply must have this thrill-a-minute account of Billy-Bob’s musings on everything from his favorite foods to his paranoia (everyone really IS out to get you, Bill), has already discounted it to $21.

Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.

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