Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A couple of weeks ago we were all up to our eyeballs in Reagan nostalgia. As might be expected, there were cries from some on the right that some liberal journalists were trying to rewrite Reagan's legacy, and in some cases they had a point (I found it interesting that all three of the major network news anchors complained publicly about the over-coverage of Reagan's funeral when we were still in the midst of a month long media orgy over Abu Ghraib.) Now we have Clinton's new book, and to nobody's surprise the media is all over this like a cheap suit. So what are the pundits on the right doing? The same damn thing their counterparts on the left did with Reagan. The fight is now over Clinton's legacy; the only difference is Clinton is still around to tell his side. To paraphrase Jaques Chirac (what the hell am I doing), the pundits on the right missed a great opportunity to keep their mouths shut. All they are doing is adding to Clinton's spotlight, and looking extremely biased and petty in the process. I've heard all day about Clinton "losing it" in a BBC interview, and because of this I was suckered into watching a 40 minute stream of this interview from the BBC website. You know what? It's no big deal. He gets a little pissed off, but he's far from "losing it" in my opinion. Other than those few moments, it's classic Bill Clinton, spinning effortlessly and getting away pretty much unscathed. The fact that some conservatives are all gaga over this interview shows how starved they are for revenge for some of the attacks on Reagan. It's too bad, because had they mostly ignored this whole thing, it would have blown over far sooner, and they would have looked much better in the end.

I'm pretty ambivalent about Bill Clinton. I don't think he was a great president, but I don't share the seething hatred for the guy that many on the right do. If he was that bad, history will figure it out. Trying to out shout the Clinton worshipers in the media just puts more money in Clinton's pocket and more shine on his legacy. Enough already.

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