…and then he hitched up his drawers and shuffled back to his chair on the porch.
Shorter Jeff Jarvis:
“Get off of my goddamed lawn you damn kids!”
Here’s a great excerpt from Foamin’ Jeff:
Alterman said, well, gee, the CIA has done weird things before so why couldn’t they do this?
That’s responsible journalism? Not in any universe I know. That’s the worst of tabloid, tin-hat, anti-intellectual, ammoral rumor-mongering. That’s Eric, the rumor monger.
What he did was, let me repeat, not journalistic. Any editor worth his salt would have killed that speculation in print (well, except at the NY Times).
Or maybe the Wall Street Journal:
The great unanswered question of course is: What was driving Mr. Clinton? What made him do such a thing? What accounts for his commitment in this case? Concern for the father? But such concern is wholly out of character for this president; he showed no such concern for parents at Waco or when he freed the Puerto Rican terrorists. Concern for his vision of the rule of law? But Mr. Clinton views the law as a thing to suit his purposes or a thing to get around.
Why did he do this thing? He will no doubt never say, a pliant press will never push him on it, and in any case if they did who would expect him to speak with candor and honesty? Absent the knowledge of what happened in this great public policy question, the mind inevitably wonders.
Was it fear of Fidel Castro–fear that the dictator will unleash another flood of refugees, like the Mariel boatlift of 1980? Mr. Clinton would take that seriously, because he lost his gubernatorial election that year after he agreed to house some of the Cubans. In Bill Clinton’s universe anything that ever hurt Bill Clinton is bad, and must not be repeated. But such a threat, if it was made, is not a child-custody matter but a national-security matter, and should be dealt with in national-security terms.
Was it another threat from Havana? Was it normalization with Cuba–Mr. Clinton’s lust for a legacy, and Mr. Castro’s insistence that the gift come at a price? If the price was a child, well, that’s a price Mr. Clinton would likely pay. What is a mere child compared with this president’s need to be considered important by history?
Was Mr. Clinton being blackmailed? The Starr report tells us of what the president said to Monica Lewinsky about their telephone sex: that there was reason to believe that they were monitored by a foreign intelligence service. Naturally the service would have taped the calls, to use in the blackmail of the president. Maybe it was Mr. Castro’s intelligence service, or that of a Castro friend.
Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to. A great and searing tragedy has occurred, and none of us knows what drove it, or why the president did what he did. Maybe Congress will investigate. Maybe a few years from now we’ll find out what really happened.
I guess journalism has changed a lot since the Golden Era of TV Guide…